Updated: Nov 8
Your immune system, which protects your body from viruses and other illnesses, is not set-in-stone in terms of how strong it is. There are ways that you can strengthen it, just like there are ways you can hurt it.
When you live in a climate like WNY, where there's less sunshine throughout the year, colder weather, and it makes it harder to get outside & get moving, typically your immune system needs a little help. Read on for some easy ways that you can boost your immune system and protect yourself!
Five simple ways to boost your immune system:
Check your vitamin D: Vitamin D is strongly linked to immune system health. Back in the day, our parents & doctors always used to recommend vitamin C when you start feeling sick but that has started to change. You can ask your doctor for a blood test to find out if you are deficient in vitamin D - if you are, they will recommend supplements! And please, don't just go to CVS & buy any brand of vitamins (for ANY vitamins or supplements!). These are NOT FDA regulated and therefore many brands unfortunately choose to use many fillers and don't contain as much of the supplement as they say they do! Ask your doctor for a reputable brand (we love KOS Intense Defense for when we're getting sick! - use code BEWELLWITHSTEPH for 15% off)
Eating a balanced diet: Diet isn't just related to the numbers on the scale. Your diet affects your overall wellness in more ways than you might imagine, and immune system strength is one of them! EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED! Foods high in beta carotene have shown they help with many respiratory diseases, heart disease, and some cancers (Pumpkin, Spinach, Carrots, Sweet potato, Kale, Cantaloupe, Mango) Make sure you avoid overconsumption of foods that contain lots of sugars (including alcohol), extremely refined and processed foods, etc.
Stress management: Managing your stress goes hand-in-hand with boosting your immune system! When your body is in over-drive, and stress is taking over, it makes it really hard for your body to carry out other daily processes smoothly. Basically, when you're stressed, your body diverts its resources to the muscle groups and organs it thinks it needs to fight off whatever is causing the stress. And your immune system takes a back burner. Exercise, mindfulness, meditation, and journaling, are all great ways to start relieving stress. Check out some of these resources to get you started: Guided Meditation Journaling
Get enough sleep: Sleep is when your body resets and recharges. If you aren't giving yourself the chance to heal, your immune system definitely is going to suffer. But sometimes it's not as easy as just saying, "Okay, I'm going to get more sleep!" You need to start by asking yourself why you aren't getting enough sleep in the first place. Is it your schedule? Maybe you need to make some changes to your routine to get to bed earlier. What can you move around? Are you drinking too much caffeine? Are you watching TV right before bed? Learn about "Sleep Hygiene" and get even more tips on getting better sleep in this article.
Practice good hygiene: Sorry to sound like your mom on this one, but did you wash your hands? This one should be a no-brainer. 30 seconds, scrub-scrub-scrub, use a paper towel to dry and open the bathroom door so you don't have to touch the handle :) !
Need a little bit more guidance on some of these tips? Want a balanced diet, or better workout habits & need some support getting started? Find all the ways you can work with me on my website: Discovery Calls are always free! www.bewellwithsteph.com/workwithme
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You are worthy of living and capable of creating a healthy lifestyle you love. 🤍