Your Immune System and You

Your Immune System and You

Author: Sybel Johnson, RN, FCN
September 04, 2020

How is everyone doing out there? Doing your best to adjust to the strangeness of life right now? 

I hope you’re feeling well. And that would be because your immune system is working properly.

Did you know your immunity is a system of the body? This system is a group of organs and special cells that protect you from disease.

During this time of COVID-19, the importance of a good immune system cannot be ignored. Let’s look at some steps to strengthen your immune system.

Get enough sleep
Physiologically, our immune system releases cytokines while we are sleeping, which regulate immunity. These cytokines decrease when we are not sleeping well, along with decreased infection fighting antibodies.  It’s worthwhile to keep your sleep schedule regular, avoid sleeping in and try for 7-8 hours per night.

Nutrition and diet
Eat nutritious foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, eggs, nuts and seeds that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Perhaps we’ve been going for comfort food more than we should have right now, so moderation is the key. Hydration is important, especially water.

Start or continue an exercise program
Taking a daily walk or participating in an exercise routine a few times a week can flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways. Your body just functions better with exercise, prevents physical problems and can lighten your mood.

Reduce stress
Living under constant stress, even low-grade stress, causes the body to produce too much cortisol, the stress hormone. Over time, elevated cortisol lowers your resistance to fighting off infection. Worry, anxiety, loneliness, and concern are things we all feel right now, even at greater levels than usual.

Here’s where we can be mindful; meditation and prayer are essential.

We can always add frequent handwashing and keeping your vaccinations up to date to this list. 

Give thanks to God for your immune system; your health is one of your most valuable gifts.                   


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