Winter has officially arrived, and with it, cold and flu season.
With that said, just because people are more likely to catch a cold during the colder months doesn’t mean you’re helpless.
As a matter of fact, there are a few things you can do to build your immune system to become more resilient than ever before, starting with these four tips and tricks.
Crumple up that tissue, roll up the sleeves of your wearable blanket, and let’s get started.
EFFECTIVELY MANAGE YOUR STRESS LEVELS
Taking steps to effectively manage your stress levels is beneficial to not only your immune system, but also your outlook on life, productivity, ability to connect with loved ones, and much, much more - but for now, let’s focus on immunity.
It’s been shown in a number of studies that long-term stress promotes inflammation, which is one of the biggest factors of impaired immunity along with a slew of other health conditions.
In other words, when your body is focused on high levels of stress, it can’t effectively fight off bacteria or other foreign toxins that your immune system would normally battle.
Some ways to reduce your stress levels include breathing exercises, meditation, exercise, learning how to communicate your thoughts and feelings, mindful walks, and ice baths. (More on that later)
While staying hydrated itself doesn’t have a direct impact on the functioning of your immune system, dehydration does.
When you’re dehydrated, your mood, focus, digestion, and kidney function all suffer a great deal. As we mentioned above, when your body is under high levels of stress, your immune system does not function as well as it normally would.
So to indirectly improve your immune system, stay hydrated! It’s an easy fix, and we have plenty of eco-friendly stainless steel options for you to choose from to accomplish this.
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MAINTAIN A HEALTHY WEIGHT
Maintaining a healthy weight echoes how the previous two points help your immune system; staying in shape puts less stress on your body’s functions, including your immune system, and as a result, allows it to do its thing unimpeded.
The whole idea behind optimizing your immune system is to reduce or remove factors that would otherwise inhibit its performance, and eating healthy foods or exercising can help to maintain a healthy weight and therefore puts less stress on your body.
WIM HOF METHOD
Finally, we come back to the ice baths.
Named after its founder Wim Hof, the Wim Hof Method (WHM) is a daily routine that is a unique combination of meditation, breathing exercises, and cold exposure.
The best way to expose yourself to the cold is during a 2-minute ice bath, but taking a 2-minute cold shower at the end of your hot shower has the same effects.
There have been a number of studies proving how the WHM improves people’s immune systems, most notably the study of which Wim himself voluntarily exposed himself to E.coli and effectively fought off the symptoms associated with the exposure using his technique.
You can learn more about the study in this video below:
Please note: It is strongly recommended to learn how to practice the Wim Hof Method from a licensed instructor before diving into an ice bath. The breathing and cold showers can be learned through the WHM App.
Ultimately, improving your immune function comes down to you making and sticking to positive lifestyle changes. There is no magic pill or supplement that can consistently improve your immune system in any meaningful way.
With a little bit of knowledge and a lot of determination, anything is possible.
Stay healthy, happy, and strong,
Dan | Greens Steel