One thing medical experts know is this: stress compromises the immune system!
So what we won't do in this article is overwhelm you with too many complicated tips on how to boost your immune system ... after all, that might stress you out! In fact, we want to do just the opposite. We want to give you simple tips that you can do RIGHT NOW to strengthen your immune system. So we offer you just 3 really simple tips that you can use immediately to improve your immune response. Not only should that put your mind at ease, but it should also reduce your level of stress, which will increase your immunity ... and so on in a truly positive upward spiral of health!
Tip #1: Call a Friend to Boost Immunity
You might think we are kidding, but the truth of the matter is that socially active people have much stronger immunity than those who are alone or who feel isolated. Consider this little tidbit from the medical experts:
"Several studies support the idea that people who feel connected to friends – whether it's a few close friends or a large group – have stronger immunity than those who feel alone. In one study, freshmen who were lonely had a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than those who felt connected to others." (http://on.webmd.com/W8CTPV)
So if you are feeling weak, tired, stressed, compromised, and low, don't get sick! Instead, strengthen your immunity by picking up the phone and calling a friend. Or, call up multiple friends and organize a "Girl's Night Out" or a "Guy's Night In" ... whatever floats your boat. The goal is to reach out and touch somebody (as AT&T would say), while at the same time feeling touched, loved, involved, connected, social, and, in short, a human being whose human needs are being met. That's one of the healthiest things we can do for our immunity and ourselves.
Tip #2: Take a Walk or Take a Nap
This tip for strengthening your immune system is an "either-or" tip because you can't always take a nap, but chances are that you can take a walk, even if it's just a short jaunt around your office building! Studies show that both exercise and sleep can play an important role in boosting the immune system. Fatigue can reduce your immune response. In fact, one study done at the University of Chicago demonstrated how lack of sleep can affect immunity. Subjects in the study were allowed only 4 hours of sleep for 6 nights, and then given a flu shot. These exhausted subjects produced only 1/2 the anticipated number of antibodies in response to the flu shot. So sleep IS important. Take a nap ... you're not being lazy, you are doing something that is both good and good for your.
Then there's exercise. Exercise does a huge amount for your immune response. For instance, increasing your heart rate for just 20 minutes per time 3 days per week raises your immunity, while taking a brisk walk 5 days a week can reduce your risk of catching a cold. Exercise also increases your body's production of endorphons (the feel-good hormone in runner's high) as well as leukocytes, the cells that fight infection in your body. So while the weather may be a bit chilly, taking that walk can do a lot. Plus, and this is a good one, studies show that exposure to cold will not give you a cold ... read about the studies here.
Tip #3: Suck Down Supplements
What do you do when you don't have time to get social, take a walk, or take a nap? That's when you reach into your desk drawer and pull out some natural supplements that have been proven to boost your immunity right away. What kind of supplements do we mean? There are two kinds that have been shown to be most effective: probiotics (especially acidophilus) and supplements containing WGP beta glucan. The word "probiotics" literally means "for life." In reality, probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that naturally live in your gut, and are among your body's first line of defense against foreign invaders and pathogens. In fact, probitoics are Nature's antibiotics.
Since probiotics can be destroyed by stress, chlorinated water, caffeine, alcohol, and other environmental pollutants, if you feel on the brink of a cold or flu, chances are that your body is lacking in probiotics. The best probiotic to take is acidophilus. To strengthen your immune system, take between 5-10 acidophilus with non-chlorinated water every 4-8 hours. This will replenish the beneficial bacteria in your system, which in turn gives your body the arsenal it needs to boost its immune response.
The other useful supplement is one that has WGP beta glucan, a specially-processed product found in baker's yeast. Many studies have been conducted on WGP beta glucan at such prestigious research institutions as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University These studies have proven WGP beta glucan's ability to activate macrophages, a type of white blood cell that is the body's first line of defense. Macrophages circulate throughout the body engulfing and digesting foreign antigens, thus triggering a cascading effect that mobilizes the body's arsenal of defenses. The result is a stronger immune system. In short, this supplement supports the production and activity of beneficial white blood cells.
So if you can't walk, nap, or get social, suck down some acidophilus and this supplement with WGP beta glucan. This will strengthen your immune system and keep you on your feet. Plus, taking these natural supplements IS something that you can do right now, easy as pie, to boost your body's immunity. It doesn't get much simpler than that!
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