Fitness & Nutrition

This Fall, Boost Your Immune System

August 30, 2023

With all the changes that come with fall, give a boost to your immune system to keep you and your family in tip-top shape! Fortunately, this isn’t rocket science; we’re getting back to basics with everyday tricks you’re likely already familiar with (even if you’ve forgotten about them momentarily). 

Here are Gateway Hancock Health’s seven ways to boost your immune system for fall. 

  1. Get Enough Sleep 

Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep. See the Mayo Clinic’s recommended amount of sleep by age here. The average adult, however, clocks in under seven hours each night. Getting enough sleep is crucial to many of your body’s systems, including the immune system. Tip: Slowly move your bedtime forward by 10-15 minutes each week until you find the right amount for your body. 

  1. Don’t Smoke 

In addition to many well-known negative effects, smoking can weaken the immune system as well. This leaves you more prone to illness than if you did not smoke. Quitting smoking can be daunting, but there is help! Check out Hancock Health’s Smoking Cessation classes.   

  1. Reduce Stress 

We know it’s impossible to rid our lives of stress completely, but removing several small stressors can have a big impact! Stress impacts our hormones which in turn taxes the immune system. It’s meant to be protective in stressful situations, but chronic stress overworks the system. Identify one stressor you can alleviate today.  

  1. Move Your Body 

Exercise is a great regulator for our bodies and helps maintain a healthy immune system. Of course, this is in addition to many other health benefits that come with moving our bodies. Simple things like taking the stairs or parking further away can inject little bursts of movement into your day. Looking for more ways to move? Check out Hancock Wellness Centers throughout Hancock County

  1. Increase Your Fruit & Veggie Intake 

Eating more produce supplies our bodies with much-needed vitamins and nutrients (like fiber), not to mention hydration! Bodies that are fed well function well, and that includes our immune system.  

  1. Drink in Moderation 

If you choose to drink alcohol, you’ll experience immune system benefits by limiting your intake. The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than seven drinks a week for women and no more than 14 drinks a week for men. (See more here.)   

  1. Take Precautions Against Infection 
    Do what you can to protect yourself from unnecessary germ exposure.  Wash your hands after using the bathroom, before and after eating, and after touching things like door handles and shared public surfaces. Make sure the food you consume is cooked properly to kill potential germs (think about things like meat and eggs). If you are around people that are ill, wear a mask — and wear one around others when you are sick.  

Yes, the immune systems’ job is to fight off germs. But by mitigating its load, it has more strength to take on the germs that we can’t avoid. By practicing these tips, we can all be a bit more healthy this fall. To our health!  

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