by Charles Weller November 08, 2013
BUSTER » So it’s seems a no brainer, and you may have noticed that when you’re a bit low on energy you seem to be prone to that ever lingering case of sniffles and cough. Research confirms this – indeed, not getting adequate sleep often leads to increased cortisol levels (stress hormone), as well as inflammation. Both potentiate sickness and general low levels of well-being and health.
BOOSTER » It seems pretty clear, but actually research isn’t 100% certain why sleep boosts the immune system. But it’s true, good sleep is critical for good health – usually 7 to 9 hours for most adults. So sleep on to promote those healthy awake times!
BUSTER » Bottom line: You don’t exercise, you are most often generally less healthy and more likely to get a cold, at least compared to those in similar circumstances who DO engage in regular, moderate exercise (excessive exercise is very energy tolling, so bump up your rest during those times).
BOOSTER » Consistent, moderate exercise can do wonders for overall health, well-being and more. Research has indicated that a regular exercise regimen can help kick start your immune system and help you fight and ward off infection. It can also boost your brain’s neurotransmitters – it’s “feel-good” chemicals – and promote healthy sleep, mood, and general well-being. So hit the gym for more than just a nice six pack!
BUSTER » Sugary foods and drinks have a blunting effect on immune system cells that can last for several hours at times. This can curb your ability to fight off immune attacks and reduce your body’s natural ability to fight bacteria.
BOOSTER » Fruits, vegetables and more fruits and vegetables! Downing these colorful foods, rich in nutrients like vitamins C, E, D as well as zinc and beta-carotene, can give your entire immune system a natural uplift. Choosing from a wide variety is best, including leafy greens, berries, citrus fruits and dark skinned fruits. Other super immune foods include spirulina, garlic, as well as spinach and cranberries.
BUSTER » Chronic stress – stress that lasts for an extended period, or is frequent and repetitive – is taxing to your immune system. Not only does consume energy, but it can leave you vulnerable to illness, colds and diseases. Stress increases your body’s release of cortisol, which in turn suppresses the immune system.
BOOSTER » Stress is a part of daily life, but you can do wonders at managing it with simple techniques to help lower and combat negativity. Activities such as regular meditation, exercise, planning, informal social functions, and having “fun” can do wonders at lowering stress, as well as boosting immune health and general well-being.
BUSTER » Recent research has shown that isolation and feelings of loneliness may have a negative impact on immune health. It seems that people who are lonely may have weaker immune system responses than those who feel more “connected” to others.
BOOSTER » It is important to share and feel connected to those around us. Fostering healthy and strong relationships seems to be a positive influence on overall health, well-being and happiness. Having great social networks can also help reduce stress and increase positive feelings – both of which are associated with better overall health. Sharing and enjoying great company is a key to a healthy life – simply laughing and looking forward to enjoyable social activities can help reduce stress, anxiety and boost general well-being.