How to maintain a healthy immune system this summer
Spreading ourselves too thin? Here’s why you need to maintain a healthy immune system this summer.
Whether you’re vaccinated or not, the emergence of the Covid-19 vaccine has led us into a new era - one where we can relax after being paranoid for over a year, make new friends in public, and eat a snack while grocery shopping.
But before we rip our masks off and throw them into the air like graduation caps, let’s take a step back: Covid-19 isn’t the only threat to our health. Our bodies are sensitive , and when we are under stress or over doing it, we run the risk for other illnesses and infections. Keeping your immune system strong and healthy helps us maintain a strong first line of defense to fight off illness and fatigue. .
As the weather gets warmer, and we socialize and recreate more than ever, let’s not throw all the rules out the window. Hand washing, healthy lifestyle, minimizing stress, and making choices that benefit our wellbeing are still essential. Let’s take what we have learned about preventing the spread of illness to help ourselves maintain our health.
Here are 5 ways to improve and maintain a healthy immune system in the most social months of the year:
Water. Lots. Of. Water.
To avoid dehydration, it’s crucial for your water intake to equal or exceed your output. This can be challenging in the summer, as heat increases fluid loss and we tend to be drinking more dehydrating beverages (this might help with that, by the way). Dehydration can cause a multitude of dangerous and uncomfortable side effects, like headache, dizziness that can lead to fainting, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Try carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go. Make a game out of drinking enough water each day.
Water transports oxygen to your cells and helps prevent the buildup of toxins. Our bodies are 60% water, which helps regulate and maintain the balance of bodily fluids that control temperature, digestion, and nutrient absorption. Water is responsible for proper kidney and bowel functions, as well as providing energy to your muscles that helps with exercise (another great way to boost your immune system).
Sounds important, right? It’s crucial to make sure your water intake equals or exceeds your output to avoid dehydration. This is even more difficult in the summer, as heat increases fluid loss and we tend to be drinking more dehydrating beverages (this might help with that, by the way). Dehydration can cause a multitude of dangerous and uncomfortable side effects, like headache, dizziness that can lead to fainting, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Try carrying a water bottle with you everywhere you go to peer-pressure yourself into drinking enough water. Make a game out of it. Do whatever you have to do to make sure you drink enough H2O every day.
Sleep. Like, really sleep.
Some of us have a complicated relationship with sleep. . A lot of things get in the way of getting a healthy amount of sleep - work, parties, stress, insomnia, you name it. It’s especially important this summer, when our bodies are more active and on the go. .. Not getting enough sleep can take a huge toll on your overall physical and mental health. Poor sleep (under 7 hours for adults per night) is linked to a multitude of health issues, including an increased risk of obesity, heart disease, stroke, and depression. Getting an adequate amount of sleep (but not too much), however, can have a positive impact in your life. As an adult, sleeping for seven to nine hours a night consistently results in increased concentration and productivity, reduced stress, improved moods, and an overall increased immune system.
Another thing to consider is that after spending extended hours under the sun and exposed harmful UV rays, your immune system kicks into overdrive to protect you. The immune system relies on sleep to restore itself, this overworking can drain your energy, leaving you feeling sleepy. It’s important to listen to these cues from your body as sleep deprivation can make you more vulnerable to heat-related illnesses.
Bottom line, take whatever measures you need to get those 7 hours in. Your body and immune system will thank you.
(Try to) Manage your stress levels.
I know, if we could manage our stress easily, we simply wouldn’t be stressed. Luckily, there are some tried and true methods to reduce and manage stress levels. While the re-opening of the world is exciting, it’s also causing many people increased stress and anxiety. Stress is scientifically proven to take a negative toll on our health. Similar to lack of sleep, it can promote disease, damage your heart muscle, cause high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, and weaken your immune system. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid this. Some of the most successful coping mechanisms include mindfulness meditation, stretching and exercise, music, and simply talking to someone.
Eat foods rich in vitamins.
Vitamin C increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. However, your body doesn’t naturally produce or store Vitamin C, which is why it’s essential to get your daily intake - but citrus haters (if they exist), have no fear. Plenty of other foods are chock full of Vitamin C. Red bell peppers contain almost 3x the amount than a Florida orange. Kale, kiwi, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are some other good contestants. I If you're looking to opt for an easy way out of long grocery lists and $8 smoothies, our Immunity Shot is packed with everything you need to keep your immune system in check in just two ounces. Whether you drink this daily or just on the days when you’ve only eaten cold pizza or you’re feeling a little under the weather, it’s proven to give your immune system the support it needs in order to support your body.
Exercise doesn’t mean running a marathon or being the heavyweight champ - even a power walk will do the trick to give your immune system a little boost. Moderate exercise is actually better for your immune system than prolonged intense exercise (which is good news for some of us). Working out improves your quality of sleep, which is when your immune system kicks in for recovery. It also decreases your risk of heart diseases, helps manage your blood sugar, strengthens your bones and muscles, and plays a huge part in improved mood and mental health. Exercising regularly significantly decreases anxiety and depression.
Exercising in the heat requires your muscles to use more energy than usual and the elevated temperature your body experiences during a workout can actually help fight infection. To keep your immune system strong, incorporate at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine.
All of these tips lead to one simple rule, listen to your body. By paying attention to our body’s natural cues, we find the balance between rest and exertion, enjoyment and recuperation. Stay healthy and active this summer, and by integrating some of these tips, even one at a time, into your everyday life will make a positive impact on your immune system and overall life, both mentally and physically. In combination with our Immunity Shot, your immune system will be full of soldiers ready and willing to fight off any unwelcome guests.