Four tips to boost your immune system in times of COVID-19. Tips 3 and 4
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
After revising in the previous article two paramount tips for enhancing our immune system, we will continue looking at with tips 3 and 4.
It is also key to have consistent high-quality sleep, in order to allow for an immune system that is balanced and effective.There is no wellness without proper sleep, it is when the body and the mind engage in deep healing and rejuvenation. Numerous components contribute to the complexity of the immune system. An important component of our immune system are white blood cells or leukocytes. The leukocyte’s job is to identify, attack and remove foreign pathogens from our bodies. When a white blood cell detects a foreign pathogen, it releases cytokines to tell other white blood cells to prepare to attack. Cytokines are proteins that act as messengers for the immune system. Other chemicals, such as histamine are also involved in immune reactions like swelling or redness. Researchers have found that during night sleep, certain components of the immune system become more active. For example, there is an increased production of cytokines associated with inflammation, an activity which appears to be driven both by sleep and by circadian rhythm, the body’s 24-hour internal clock.
Just as sleep can help the brain consolidate learning and memory, research suggests that sleep strengthens immune memory. The interaction of immune system components during sleep reinforces the immune system’s ability to remember how to recognize and react to dangerous antigens.
Prioritise your sleep, your body needs 7-8 hours of good quality sleep to heal and rejuvenate and to strengthen your immune system.
Exercise regularly, this can boost your immune system and help fight off infections. Exercise allows immune cells to perform effectively, it increases blood flow, reduces stress and inflammation, and can strengthen antibodies. Research has suggested that physical activity may help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, which could reduce your chances of contracting a cold, flu, or other illnesses. Exercise causes changes in antibodies and white blood cells, allowing them to circulate more rapidly so that they can detect illnesses earlier than they might have otherwise. However, no one knows whether these changes help prevent infections, but it is suspected that the brief rise in body temperature during and immediately after exercise may prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infections better. Exercise also slows down the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which may protect against illness. Therefore, moderate exercise which can be recommended for improving the immune system can comprise cycling few time a week, going to the gym 3-4 times a week or playing a sport regularly. Walking for 20 to 30 minute walk everyday can also prove very helpful, as it stimulates the gut and helps regulate your nervous system.
I hope these tips can help you to boost your immune system and support you in leading live a healthier life, full of energy and more relaxed.