Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an advantage when it comes to strengthening our immune system. While most people adopt healthy behaviors when they are sick, we recommend that you try to make those recommendations a lifestyle to be able to sustain.
It is imperative to maintain a healthy lifestyle for our physical and mental health. In the next chapters, we will dive into the subject of what you can do to improve your immune system. We will look at what foods you can eat, and the changes you can make in your day to help with mental health. You will receive a 21-day plan you can implement to help you be more successful with that healthy lifestyle.
But first, let’s do a little survey to assess your lifestyle and how well you do on the immune system checklist.
Check all that applies to you.
- Ear infection yearly
- Use antibiotics at least once a year
- Reoccurring Skin issues like rash or inflammation
- Autoimmune disease
- Susceptible to infections
- Suffer from colds or flu every year
- Feel tired or exhausted often
- Take medications regularly
- Live a sedentary lifestyle (do not exercise regularly)
- Experience daily stress
- Lack of sleep or insomnia
- Often eat out or prepared meals from the store
- Smoke q Eat fewer than 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day
- Have 1–2 alcohol drinks per day
- Eat sweets every day (candy, chocolate, ice cream, etc.)
- Heart issues
The more that applies to you, the less resilient is your immune system. Some of the things above are avoidable like food and drinks; some can’t be changed immediately like an autoimmune disease.
Let’s look at some of the things you should avoid in your life to boost your immune system and give yourself a better chance to fight illnesses caused by bacteria or viruses.
Things to avoid for a healthy lifestyle
A sedentary lifestyle will likely increase the cholesterol in your body. It is also connected with higher blood pressure. Since the heart and the immune system work together as a strong team against disease, it is extremely important to keep the heart healthy. Daily exercise is very important and will be covered in more detail in here.
Alcohol is a toxin that can cause a lot of inflammation in the body. To prevent that defense mechanism from being activated, you should avoid drinking alcohol. When you drink, you decrease your immune system’s ability to fight off the harmful bacteria and put yourself at more risk of getting sick.
Smoking puts you at higher susceptibility to lung infections like pneumonia. To increase the efficiency of your immune system, you should avoid smoking at all costs.
Stress is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to getting sick. Since it can be a complex issue that doesn’t always have an easy solution, we will cover this subject in more detail here.
Food to Avoid
Anything that comes in a box, in the freezer section of the store or a can, should be avoided; unless you are 100% sure that no sugar or salt is added to the food. You can change your diet to be mostly whole food (more on this in chapter 3). By cutting the processed food, reduce the chances of inflammation in the body. You should also avoid sugar as much as you can, since it hurts your metabolism, and can cause chronic diseases like diabetes or heart problems. Chronic diseases increase your risk of getting sick from a virus.
People who don’t get enough sleep (7 to 9 hours per night) tend to get sicker. To ensure that your immune system is functioning optimally, you need to make sure that you get adequate sleep. Since sleep is critical to our immune system, we have dedicated a whole chapter to that subject (here).
Although daily stress, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of sleep are things that you can change, your best defense remains good hygiene. Limit, as much as you can, your exposure to the virus or bacteria. Let’s explore what you can change today and identify the food that you can eat to help heal your body.