Maintaining a strong immune system

Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle

On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease. But sometimes it fails and you get sick.

The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. To function well, it requires balance and harmony.

Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy:

·         Don’t smoke.

·         Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.

·         Exercise regularly.

·         Maintain a healthy weight.

·         Control your blood pressure.

·         If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.

·         Get adequate sleep.

·         Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently.

Your lifestyle can affect how well your immune system can protect you from germs, viruses, and chronic illness. Replacing bad health habits with good ones can help keep your immune system healthy.

Eat a healthy diet

Many people only think about their health when it is in danger; don't wait until you are sick or injured to care for your body. Making healthy food choices on a daily basis is one of the best ways to maintain your cardiovascular health, improve your energy levels, and keep your muscles and bones strong. A healthy diet should be high in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and low in excess sugar and alcohol.

Exercise regularly

Getting enough exercise improves your cardiovascular health, and greatly reduces the likelihood of certain chronic diseases.

Drink enough water

Water helps energise your muscles, improve bowel function, and balance your body's fluid levels. You should drink at least eight glasses of water every day.

Get enough sleep

Getting adequate sleep not only improves your mood and energy levels, it prevents strokes and helps you manage your weight. You should strive for eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Be hygienic

Hygiene goes beyond looking your best. Taking the proper precautions can help prevent the onset and spread of infections or other illnesses.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water. This is to get rid of any dirt, germs, or bacteria you may have picked up throughout the day. You should wash your hands after using the toilet, before, after, and while cooking food, after handling animals or animal waste, and before eating.

Manage stress

Stress isn't just an emotion; it has physical repercussions, and chronic stress can negatively affect your immune system.

Overcoming stress can be done in two ways, and will ideally involve a little of both. Avoid the activities and people that cause you extreme stress, if possible. While this will help, you must also learn how to cope with the inevitable ups and downs of life in a healthy way.