How Healthy Is Your Immune System?
By Sandy Schroeder
The immune system is an intricate system of molecules and cells that researchers are still trying to fully understand. We know that system works 24/7 to fight infectious bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites that can cause illness, disease and death. Researchers also believe that the immune system may be involved with diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis if it becomes too active. So where does that leave us?
Choosing a healthy lifestyle is the best way to keep your immune system strong, according to Harvard medical researchers. Shield your body from environmental attacks and treat it well.
Avoid Infection – Wash your hands every time you come in from work or shopping. Cook meats completely and avoid contact with people who are ill.
Stop Smoking – Smoking opens so many doors to bad health. Don’t let it undermine your immune system.
Keep Moving – See if you can include a daily 30-minute activity or workout session. Check with your doctor on approved exercises.
Check in With Your Doctor – Stay up to date on checkups, immunizations and screenings.
Fine Tune Your Diet – Fill it with fruits, vegetables and whole grains, holding sugar and saturated fats down to 10 percent of your total calories. Keep red and processed meats down too. Try to get most of your nutrients and vitamins from your food instead of supplements.
Keep Blood Pressure In Check – Monitor your blood pressure with your doctor and make sure it stays in a healthy range.
Sleep Well – Health advisors say adults should get 7 to 9 hours every night. Do whatever it takes to make that happen. Establish a regular bedtime, avoid naps, and caffeine overload. Kick the electronics out of your bedroom.
Drink Moderately – If you drink, hold it down to one or two glasses per day. Avoid binge drinking.
Stay Trim – Work to establish a healthy weight and then keep it to help level your blood pressure and avoid heart and cancer disease risk.
Limit Painkillers – Ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen and acetaminophen work for everyday pain. But overuse can affect the liver, increase blood pressure and attack the stomach. If pain does not go away, see your physician and chiropractor for healthy, long-range solutions.
Avoid Excess Stress – Researchers have not pinned the effects of stress on the immune system, but the effects are widespread in hives, heart disease, and stomach upsets. Keeping life level could help to keep your immune system strong.
If you are lucky enough to be sailing along with no flu, colds, or other illnesses, keep up the good work. You must be doing some of the right things to keep your immune system strong.
To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.