Looking to Boost Your Immunity to Protect Against Delta? Try These Tips
With the COVID-19 Delta variant going on a tear throughout the US, more and more people are getting serious about boosting their immunity. This latest strain of the COVID-19 virus is proving that it can more easily penetrate those who have been vaccinated, making it important to do everything that you can to boost your immunity. Here are just a few of the most proven ways to guard your health and ensure that your immunity is working at optimal levels.
One of the oldest tricks in the book to boost immune health is to prioritize your sleep. While the occasional late night out or restless night will not significantly affect the immune system, making it a habit of not getting enough sleep can have profound effects on this body function. Not getting enough sleep boosts levels of the stress hormone cortisol, leading to higher levels of chronic inflammation and an increased risk for chronic disease.
Making sure that you are getting enough rest each night will support the goal of the immune cells to make the necessary repairs in your body. How much sleep you need each night largely depends on your age and other health factors. Most healthy adults should aim for at least eight hours per night.
Stay on Top of Vaccinations
It goes without saying that the COVID-19 vaccine offers you the most protection from this deadly virus. However, this is not the only vaccine that you need to stay on top of. As you age, you may need various booster shots for immunizations that you received when you were younger. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about boosters for hepatitis A and B, shingles, tetanus, and pneumonia.
It is also important to be diligent about getting an annual flu shot. The best time to get this shot is in October or early November. This timing will ensure that you have the maximum protection through the influenza season.
Focus on Healthy Eating
What you put into your body can greatly affect how well it responds to germs and other foreign invaders. You will be giving your immune system what it needs if you focus on making fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins the cornerstone of your diet.
When looking for specific foods to incorporate into your meal plan, be sure to look to the coveted superfoods. This includes green leafy greens, salmon, berries, and various whole grains.
It is also important to reduce your consumption of harmful foods that increase inflammation in the body. These types of foods include sugary beverages, fatty foods, and processed items. In addition, it is recommended to limit your intake of alcoholic beverages.
As your body experiences stress, the brain triggers the fight or flight mode, prompting the release of the hormone cortisol. As the level of this hormone rises, the immune system temporarily stands back so that the body can focus on addressing the threat. The occasional release of cortisol is not inherently harmful. However, chronic stress can chip away at the body's immune function.
While you cannot control all of the extraneous stress in your life, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the damage it has on your immune system. Good ideas to reduce stress in your life include making a commitment to regular exercise, engaging in breathing exercises, yoga, meditation, and journaling.
Move Your Body
It is no surprise to learn that regular exercise will go a long way in supporting healthy immune function. A sedentary lifestyle directly contributes to an increased risk for obesity and chronic illness and disease. Exercising regularly takes these physical threats on by improving your metabolism, lowering blood pressure, and boosting your heart health.
You do not have to engage in strenuous physical activity each day to see these benefits. Moderate exercise for at least 30 minutes most days of the week will have a meaningful effect on how your immune system operates.
These five tips will rev up the body's natural defenses and put you in a better position to fight off COVID-19 and a variety of additional foreign invaders. Do not wait until you are already sick to begin thinking about boosting your immune system. Prevention is always the best road to take.
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