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Eight habits to help boost your immune system

Eight habits to help boost your immune system

Did you know that what you eat, how much you exercise, how well you sleep, and your overall attitude can all help strengthen your immune system and prevent illness? There are countless products on the market that claim to help boost your immune function, but buyer beware. Most shelf products have little to no evidence behind them and science so far, tells us that a natural approach and a healthy lifestyle, remain the best tools at hand. Here are some of the things we can all do to help keep our immune systems in balance.

  1. Manage stress: Chronic stress has a negative effect on the immune system — which is why finding ways to manage stress and anxiety are so worthwhile. Some people like to lose themselves in a good book, while others have discovered that exercise is as effective, if not more so, than prescription medication when it comes to managing mild to moderate anxiety and depression. Yoga, meditation, and simply taking a few deep breaths can all help too.
  2. Get moving: An active lifestyle can bolster our ability to fight off diseases and infections. A brisk daily walk is all it takes.
  3. Get enough sleep: Getting a good night’s sleep is essential in helping the body recover from the mental and physical stress. For some sleep-tight tips, click here.
  4. Eat wisely: Reach for superfoods to help boost your overall health. Kale, berries, peppers, turmeric, garlic… these are some of our favorites too!
  5. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol messes with our immune systems in a number of ways. It interferes with our sleep, contributes to some cancers, and seems to slow recovery from injuries and infections.
  6. Keep allergies in check: If you have ongoing allergies and they aren’t treated effectively, they could weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to viruses and other germs.
  7. Don’t smoke: The effects of tobacco smoke on the immune system include: greater susceptibility to infections such as pneumonia and influenza, more severe and longer-lasting illnesses, and lower levels of protective antioxidants in the blood.
  8. Maintain a healthy weight: Excess body fat, particularly abdominal fat, appears to trigger the production of “pro-inflammatory” immune cells, which circulate in the blood and promote inflammation in our bodies. Chronic inflammation is linked with coronary artery disease and countless other health problems.

A marketing communications professional with over 25 years of experience and a fitness instructor/trainer of three decades, Catherine has inspired thousands of Canadians to lead active, healthy lives. Catherine lives in Toronto and has two daughters, ages 21 and 18. Visit Catherine's website