These days it's so hard to stay healthy and cold-free -- especially when it seems like everyone and their mother comes into the office when they're sick.
So how are you supposed to stay healthy
when it seems nearly impossible? Well, these tips can help boost your immune system and be beneficial to you in the long run!
As you age, your immune system weakens. You lose key defenses called naïve immune system cells that help fight the common cold and the flu. An Australian study shows that women, specifically younger women, are better at fighting off colds than young men are. It could possibly be related to hormones that disappear during menopause.
While exercising and for three hours after, our body’s production of neutrophils, a germ-fighting cell, is increased. Blowing off your daily workouts can lead to a weakened immune system, so it is important to try to squeeze in approximately 3 hours of moderate physical activity into your schedule per week.
Stress is known to weaken your immune system by creating a biochemical change in the body that causes it to work less efficiently. Working out can help ease stress. However, something as simple as asking a coworker to join you for lunch or even a walk (kill two birds with one stone) can help relieve stress as well. Your body releases certain hormones during social interactions that help reduce cortisol and adrenaline -- two chemicals that are produced during stress.
Vitamin D aids cells in producing antibacterial protein and makes the immune system more efficient in killing viruses and bacteria. This basically means that people who are vitamin D deficient are more likely to catch colds than those with higher concentrations. To keep your Vitamin D levels up, you can take daily supplements or consume foods that are rich in Vitamin D such as fatty fish, fortified milk, cereals, or even d-fortified yogurt
When you’re sick, there is nothing better than your favorite comfort foods, but they could be contributing to your weakened immune system. Instead of reaching for the bowl of macaroni and cheese, load up on those fruits and vegetables. According to Joel Fuhrman, MD and author
of "Super Immunity," you can cold-proof your diet by adding green veggies to it; veggies such as spinach, lettuce, and broccoli are packed with a compound called isothiocyanates that activate white blood cells that help fight off viruses.
According to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, staying in and away from the cold adds to the problem. Exposing yourself to cold viruses can help you build immunity. If there was ever an excuse to go out and socialize, this is it! Those who have more friends, colleagues, and exercise partners are less likely to get sick than those who stay in and hibernate during the winter.
Have any secretes to staying healthy? Feel free to share and discuss them in the comments!