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Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

By Randi Morse

When the winter months hit, so do the viruses. We are much more likely to get viruses for a number of reasons, the biggest being that when the weather is cold we are more likely to stay indoors, which can pass germs along much easier. When the weather's nice people are much more apt to go outside and germs don't spread as easily in spaces that are wide open with lots of fresh air. Here are some simple ways to help boost your immune system if you're struggling with a winter virus.

Sleep and Stress

Most adults don't get enough sleep. It's recommended that adults get at least 8 hours of sleep a night, but often we struggle to find the time to sleep, or we struggle to stay asleep. When it comes to sleep and the immune system the important thing isn't how much sleep you get, it's how good the sleep that you're getting is. Getting deep REM sleep is vital if you're looking to boost your immune system. Stress is also a huge factor when it comes to keeping your immune system healthy. The higher your stress level is, the worse off your immune system is. When your body is handling stress it has no energy left to give the immune system. That's why keeping a low stress level is important.

Alcohol

Alcohol can be a great way to de-stress after a long week, but if you're trying to boost your immune system it's a good idea to skip it. It has been found that if you drink a large amount of alcohol, or drink it regularly, you are impairing your immune system. Having a few drinks in moderation is fine, but it's a good idea to back off from imbibing a lot of alcohol.

Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight triggers your body's production of Vitamin D. When you're in the sun in the summer months you can easily get enough sun exposure to help keep your immune system healthy. During the winter months, try taking a supplement of Vitamin D. A study completed in 2010 showed that getting 1,200 IU of supplemental Vitamin D daily greatly reduced the risk of getting influenza A. 

Garlic and Herbs

When you're trying to boost your immune system, or beat back a cold, try upping the garlic and different spices that you use when you're cooking. Spices like garlic and ginger are amazing if you're looking to give your immune system a little boost, and other spices, like turmeric, are an excellent addition to your diet to keep you healthy. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Boulder, Colo.

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