5 Secrets to a Super-Charged Immune System!
Get Plenty of Sleep
While more sleep doesn’t necessarily keep you from getting sick, not getting enough can adversely affect your immune system. Without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines. These are proteins that target infection and inflammation, which creates an immune response. These cytokines are produced and released during sleep, which means you get hit twice as hard if you skimp on sleep. To stay healthy, get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night for adults. Kids and teens need more based on their age.
3 quick tips on a better nights rest: 1. Lay off your phone and TV an hour or more before you hit the sack 2. Try not to eat at least 3 hours before bed and 3. Try to fall asleep and wake up at consistent times.
Similar to acupuncture, tapping focuses on the meridian points – or energy hot spots – to restore balance to your body’s energy. Tapping is using your fingers to put tapping pressure along particular points. There are 3 points to focus on that can boost your immune system: K-27 Points (where your collarbone meets your sternum on both sides); Thymus point right in the center of your sternum; Spleen points (along the bottom of your ribcage on the front on both sides).
Gently tap with your pointer and middle finger along each of these points while breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth about three times. You can do this 2 or 3 times per day.
Most of us know that exercise is a good thing. Here are a few reasons why it’s a really good thing for your immune system. It may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. It allows the antibodies and white blood cells (WBC) to circulate more rapidly. WBCs are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease.
If you’re already regularly exercising – great! If not, start with something simple like a 30- minute walk every day. Make it a habit. No excuses!
Decrease Stress by Deep Breathing 4-7-8
Stress seems to be at an all time high right now with everything going on! When we are stressed, the immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria and viruses is reduced which makes us more susceptible to infections. Additionally, the stress hormone Cortisol ramps up which also suppresses the effectiveness of our immune system. An easy and proven way to temporarily bring down stress and it’s nasty effects is through deep breathing exercises. 4-7-8 breathing is a simple way to get started!
Start by breathing in slowly through your nose for 4 seconds. Then, hold your breath for a total count of 7 seconds. Finally, exhale slowly through your mouth for 8 seconds. Do this 3 or 4 times when you feel the kettle starting to boil and it’s sure to cool things down.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient essential to the health and functioning of your immune system. It enhances the pathogen fighting effects of the white blood cells and also helps to decrease inflammation, which also helps to promote the immune system. Unfortunately, most studies show that Americans are deficient in Vitamin D. The easiest way to get these numbers up is to get outside and get in the sun! The sunlight has to hit your skin for this to work. To maintain healthy blood levels, aim to get 10–30 minutes of midday sunlight, several times per week. Sunlight is the fastest and most inexpensive way to naturally boost your Vitamin D levels.
Fortunately, Vitamin D3 supplements are also relatively inexpensive and can be found at most health food stores. Make sure not to take more than that without consulting with a health professional. Bottom line: Vitamin D intake is recommended at 400–800 IU/day, or 10–20 micrograms. However, some studies suggest that a higher daily intake of 1000–4000 IU (25–100 micrograms) is needed to maintain optimal blood levels