Eleven steps to maintaining a strong immune system during cold & flu season
The miserable symptoms of a cold or the flu are actually signs that your immune system is working to fight off the offending virus. You get a fever, for example, because your immune system’s cells work better at a higher body temperature, while germs don’t reproduce as well at higher temperatures. The swelling in your sinuses is due to the fact that armies of immune cells are rushing to the area to fight the germs. A runny nose allows your body to flush out germs along with mucus.
Your immune system is your best defense against infectious illnesses. Keep it in optimum shape with healthy-living strategies such as these:
1. Don’t smoke. If you already smoke, try to quit, even if you’ve been unsuccessful at kicking the habit in the past.
2. Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
3. Take a multivitamin if you suspect that you may not be getting all the nutrients you need through your diet.
4. Exercise regularly.
5. Maintain a healthy weight.
6. Control your stress level.
7. Control your blood pressure.
8. If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
9. Get adequate sleep.
10. Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
11. Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category.
*copied from this months Havard Health publication