As colder months quickly approach, strengthening your immune system is as vital as ever. Spreading germs and catching colds is easy as we shop for presents, socialize with family members from out of state and travel to different parts of the world. You can stay as safe as possible from the possibility of getting sick by taking care of your immune system properly.
Table of Contents:
- How Does the Immune System Work?
- The Benefits of a Strong Immune System
- Three Signs of a Strong Immune System
- Six Signs of a Weakened Immune System
- How to Boost Your Immune System
- Strengthen Your Immune System With Mobile IV Medics
Before learning how boosting your immune system works, take a few minutes to understand this vital part of the human body and why you should take care of it year-round.
How Does the Immune System Work?
The easiest way to think of your immune system’s functions is to imagine it as a virus protector you put on your computer. While you may forget it’s there, it is constantly fighting off threats to your safety, personal information, home network and other bugs that impact your technology.
The immune system does the same for your body. There are viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites around us that we do not notice. Luckily, our immune system works tirelessly to keep these invaders out of our bodies with the help of white blood cell production and stem cells. The immune system gains support through regular exercise, hydration and nutritious diets to send these white blood cells and stem cells through the bloodstream to provide for the rest of the body.
The Benefits of a Strong Immune System
A strong immune system keeps us going throughout the day without us noticing. When they’re not fighting off infections and bacteria that could make us sick, our immune systems are also helping us thrive in different ways.
A healthy immune system helps keep us alert and avoid feelings of fatigue. Tiredness can sometimes result from catching a cold or viral infection. When the immune system works hard to keep bacteria out of the body, we feel healthier and more active. This internal structure also helps heal injuries quicker so we can return to our everyday routines. Skin and internal damage tend to mend faster for those who have healthier immune systems.
Three Signs of a Strong Immune System
A strong immune system is not always physically noticeable. It works internally to keep us healthy and functioning throughout the day so that our other body parts feel supported. While we might not observe the effort of these internal structures daily, there are several signs of a healthy immune system, including:
- Fast recovery periods: The immune system’s ability to fight off infections can also help when we get sick. An average recovery time of a week to 10 days might only take a few days with a strong immune system.
- Minimal infection symptoms: Some sicknesses don’t feel like a cold at all! When viral infections circle school, work or public areas, it can be easy to pick it up and feel the symptoms for a few days. With the help of a strong immune system, we may not feel typical symptoms, or they might be weaker than expected.
- Quick physical healing: Wounds, scrapes and burns are no match for our immune systems’ quick healing process. Stem cells quickly clot the blood near the damaged skin and begin regenerating the skin to heal the area thoroughly.
Six Signs of a Weakened Immune System
Internal and external threats that our immune system fights off daily can find their way in when the structure weakens. Lifestyle and health choices can impact our immune systems more than we anticipate, making it easier to get sick.
Signs of a weakened immune system include:
- Constant fatigue: Low energy can lead to a poorly functioning immune system.
- Stomach problems: Our immune systems are located near the digestive tract, making diarrhea and constipation normal if you have a weak immune system.
- Frequent infections: When the immune system shuts down or slows due to weakness, it can take longer to fight off bacteria and diseases. Getting pneumonia more than once a year, having sinusitis multiple times annually and developing four or more ear infections over several months can mean your immune system is weak.
- Long-term stress: High levels of stress releases a hormone in the body called cortisol. This hormone slows down the effectiveness of fighting off diseases from your immune system. Without the help of our immune systems, we can get sick much more often, which can lead to more stress from taking off school or work to recover.
- Always having a cold: Some sicknesses are unavoidable. Common colds typically last about a week or two. A weakened immune system can take longer to fight off these viral infections, making you sick longer and more often than usual.
- Slow healing: Stem cells from the immune system help regenerate skin from scrapes, scratches and burns. Without a strong immune system to support your wounds, they can take longer to heal fully.
How to Boost Your Immune System
Although gaining an immune system boost can take time and dedication, the rewards significantly outweigh the journey. A healthy mind and body lead to a strong immune system that can help you stay healthy. All it takes is a few practical changes to your lifestyle!
Take a look at the following tips for boosting immune systems and see how they can fit into your daily routine.
1. Create an Exercise Regimen
Boosting immune systems starts with getting your blood pumping and heart rate up. Those who are more active have a strong immune system that can fight diseases and their symptoms more efficiently. You can create your own workout routine that fits your daily routine and promotes your physical health.
Regular cardio and weightlifting seem to have the most positive influence when boosting your immune system. If you want to support your immune system and gain some muscle, strength training from lifting weights can benefit your health by keeping your blood flowing. Strength training is also great for lowering stress levels which can also help keep your immune system strong.
Cardio exercises can be as simple as walking for 30-45 minutes a few times a week. Walking around your neighborhood, hiking or even walking to work or school can keep your heart rates up. This simple workout boosts your immune system and keeps you healthier when sicknesses spread.
2. Add Healthy Foods to Your Diet
One of the easiest ways to strengthen your immune system is to reward your body with nutritious food options. Superfoods are easy to find in stores and are high in nutrients and minerals. Adding a few servings of superfoods to your diet can improve the functions of your immune system to help you feel healthy through any cold or infection.
Superfoods to boost your immune system include:
- Leafy greens: Vitamin C and antioxidants from kale, collard greens and spinach are delicious and great for strengthening your immune system.
- Bright vegetables: If you enjoy red peppers, carrots, celery and other vegetables that resemble the colors on the rainbow, you can eat these ingredients as snacks or sides for additional vitamin C in your diet.
- Citrus fruits: You can add oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits to drinks, salads and snacks for added protein and vitamin C. These nutrients are excellent for increasing white blood cells that help fight off infections.
- Berries: For additional vitamin C, fiber, iron and calcium to strengthen your immune system, add a few servings of strawberries, cherries, blueberries and raspberries to your plate each day.
- Nuts and seeds: A handful of nuts and seeds daily can give your body an extra boost of protein, magnesium and vitamin B6. These vitamins and minerals strengthen your immune system and give you more energy.
- Poultry: Chicken, turkey and duck are delicious proteins you can add to your meals that increase white blood cell counts. They also offer vitamin B6, which reduces inflammation, so our bodies can function and digest food more efficiently.
3. Immune System Support IV Package
The Immune System Support IV Package is perfect for boosting your immune system if you want to fight off sicknesses with a simple appointment. IV therapy is quick, easy and painless. In under an hour, you can get a boost of vitamin C, vitamin B complex, vitamin B12, zinc and glutathione that supports your immune system’s natural functions.
Each package has additional hydration so you can feel energized and ready to conquer the day ahead.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep as Much as Possible
The quality of our sleep cycles can significantly impact our health, starting with our immune systems. The immune system starts releasing cytokine proteins when we get around eight hours of deep sleep without waking up throughout the night. These proteins promote good sleep and fight off infections.
You can help support your immune system’s natural cytokine levels by going to bed at a decent time each night, limiting screen time an hour before going to sleep and having a de-stressing night routine.
5. Stay Hydrated
Hydration plays a critical role in supporting every body part so they can function normally. The immune system depends on the nutrients that our bloodstream supplies, which mainly consist of water. Without hydrating each day properly, the immune system cannot fight off infections and keep us healthy.
To give our bodies the extra support to maintain our physical health, we can strive to drink several glasses of water daily. Some health professionals recommend calculating the right amount of water we need with our body weight. Say you weigh around 170 pounds. Divide this number in half. This new number, 85, is the ounces of water you should drink daily.
If you find that hydration is more challenging when you do not have any flavor in your drink, you can add water-based fruits and veggies to your water bottles to make each sip more exciting. Watermelon, cucumber and strawberries are delicious ingredients you can add to water to add a hint of flavor to your drink.
6. Practice Stress Management
Since long-term stress can cause the immune system to weaken, you can try stress management techniques that promote positive mindsets and a healthy outlook on life. Beneficial stress management techniques that you can do anywhere include:
- Breathing exercises: Sometimes, a deep breath can do the trick. Stress can appear out of nowhere, but a simple breathing exercise may calm your mind. All you need to do is sit still or lie in a comfortable area and clear your head. Breathe in through your nose for six to seven seconds, hold for five more and exhale through your mouth. It may sound simple, but a calming breath can ground you in the present moment and help you make sensible decisions.
- Yoga and meditation: These simple exercise methods promote relaxation for your mind and body. Yoga and meditation focus on breathing techniques and centering our gravity. Yoga poses can help open your lungs and engage specific muscles so you feel at peace with each session. Meditation offers relaxation methods that allow you to reflect positively and make amends with the past to look forward to the future with certainty.
- Practice a positive mindset: This step can take some time because of everyone’s individual preferences for relaxation and stress management. However, it can be gratifying once you find out how it can fit into your life. Practicing a positive mindset can start with surrounding yourself with optimistic, encouraging people who inspire you each day. You can also try positive self-talk, including complimenting and rewarding yourself for your efforts. One of the best positive mindset practices is to reflect on your day and state a few happy things you can write down in a journal. These efforts go a long way when finding ways to de-stress.
7. Avoid Smoking
When tobacco smoke enters the body, the immune system recognizes it as a virus or infection. This imbalance of the immune system causes autoimmune disorders to develop. The immune system will send white blood cells through the bloodstream to attack the strange air in your lungs, hurting your other healthy cells and tissue more.
Smoking can take years to show external effects, but your internal organs fight to keep these substances out of your body as much as possible. To prevent your immune system and other structures from shutting down, take smoking out of your life as much as possible.
Strengthen Your Immune System With Mobile IV Medics
When you need an extra boost of support for your immune system, Mobile IV Medics can help! Our Immune System Support IV Drip Package specializes in providing essential vitamins to your bloodstream through an IV so your immune system receives additional help to fight off infections. Each appointment is quick, easy and painless. You can even choose to have your IV appointment at home to feel as comfortable as possible during your session.
A registered nurse will administer the IV and answer any additional questions you may have about the benefits of drip therapy, future appointments and other IV treatments.
Book your IV appointment with us today!
About the author
Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D.
Brad Wenderoth, Pharm.D. is a licensed pharmacist and co-owner of Mobile IV Medics. With over 16 years of healthcare experience, Brad is bringing his expertise and passion for patient care to the Mobile IV Medics patient population. Prior to Mobile IV Medics, Brad worked in varying areas including both direct patient care and hospital leadership at Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles, nationwide health system pharmacy consulting for Comprehensive Pharmacy Services (CPS), and professor of pharmacy at the USC School of Pharmacy. He holds a doctorate in pharmacy from the University of Arizona, a pharmacy practice residency from USC, and a lean six sigma green belt from Johns Hopkins.