Spring has officially sprung. And while many of us are excited for the new season, our bodies may not be ready for the change in temperature and weather conditions.
There are, however, plenty of ways to prepare the immune system for the seasonal transition. Consider the following suggestions:
Maintain a balanced diet
Have you ever considered how beneficial a healthy diet is for your immune system? According to George L. Blackburn, M.D., Ph.D., associate director of the division of nutrition at Harvard Medical School, your food choices can essentially make or break your immune system.
“Nutrition plays an important part in maintain immune function,” he told CNN. “Insufficiency in one of more essential nutrients may prevent the immune system from functioning at its peak.”
David Katz, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Yale Prevention Research Center in New Haven, Connecticut, told the source that a balanced diet is critical for overall health and well-being.
“There’s no question the immune system fundamentally is influenced by overall health – and a balanced diet is key,” he said. “Not only are essential nutrients critical for the production and maintenance of key germ-fighting cells in the immune system, but a balanced diet also has a strong effect on vascular function, and the immune system is dependent on blood flow.”
By prioritizing foods loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you’ll fuel a thriving immune system. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats.
Follow a normal sleep schedule exercise regularly
By exercising regularly, you’ll improve your cardiovascular health, lower your blood pressure, boost your metabolism and maintain a healthy weight.
But that’s not all – exercise also promotes good cell circulation, which gives the immune system’s cells the ability to move around the body and protect it as they should, according to Harvard Health Publications.
As the new season sets in, focus on setting aside time throughout the week to exercise outside.
The warm weather poses the perfect opportunity to go for a jog, hike or walk through nature.
When you don’t give your body the chance to rest, it won’t be fully prepared to perform properly for the following day.
Additionally, not getting enough sleep can lead to fatigue and may increase your risk of catching a cold.
By following a normal sleep schedule, you’re allowing your body to recuperate and regain energy levels needed to thrive.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults aged 26-64 need seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Those above the age of 65 can get by with seven to eight. Consider these recommendations based on your age.
If you’re having trouble getting the proper amount of rest, consider your sleeping environment. Is it setting you up for success? Make sure your room is dark, comfortable and clutter-free.
Proper hydration is another important factor in fueling a healthy immune system, according to Neil Schacter, M.D., medical director of the Respiratory Care Department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
“Staying hydrated keeps your mucous membranes moist and helps your immune system function efficiently,” he told Fitness magazine.
Drinking water throughout the day will keep your immune system well, but so will hydrating the air you breathe.
Since viruses thrive in dry air, you may consider using a humidifier to moisturize the air you’re breathing in.
Maintain your stress levels
Have you ever experienced stress-related sickness? When you’re under physical and psychological pressure, the immune system is negatively impacted, according to Harvard Health Publications.
This increases your chance of developing a cold or other form of illness while you’re stressed out. This spring, find ways to maintain your stress levels and stay positive.
Stress is inevitable, but there are coping mechanisms you can try to relieve the pressure.
Meditation or yoga can be enjoyed outside in the springtime fresh air as a great form of relief.
Exercise of any type is a beneficial way to cope with anxiety, plus it can also boost the immune system on its own.
Consider sub-lingual immunotherapy
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 50 million people in the U.S. live with nasal allergies.
While allergens are certainly present year-round, many people begin showing allergy symptoms as the fresh springtime flowers bloom and the pollen count rises.
If you’re bothered by allergens, you can turn to over-the-counter medications or prescribed drugs, but there’s another treatment you may consider – sub-lingual immunotherapy.
This treatment works just like traditional vaccines and allergy shots – but it’s less invasive. Patients will instead orally ingest small amounts of allergenic substances.
What’s best about SLIT is how convenient it is – this therapy can last for two or three years.
If you’re looking for an alternative for your over-the-counter medication or allergy shots, reach out to the Longevity & Stem Cell Centre of Houston today.
Not only can this treatment be used to relieve seasonal allergies, but it’s also helpful for allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and allergic conjunctivitis.
Are you ready to learn more? Call us today to schedule your SLIT immunotherapy appointment.