It’s back to school time. And while that hasn’t changed your own routine in many moons, you still shouldn’t ignore it.
Whether it is grandkids, children at church or just little ones at the grocery store, being exposed to some ugly bugs is bound to happen. Because the truth is as much as we love them, this time of year kids are little Petri dishes of bacteria.
So it’s important to take steps now to protect yourself from all the sniffling, sneezing and coughing you’re about to face.
Boost your immunities to fight off back to school bugs
Start with the basics such as washing your hands, not touching your face, and taking a high-quality probiotic. But then take your protection up a notch.
No matter what bugs you face these seven tricks to supercharge your immunities can help assure you never get sick:
1. Get some sun:
Your immune system depends on vitamin D to function at full throttle. Which is why it’s no surprise that a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that getting enough of the sunshine vitamin helped prevent the flu.
But what exactly is enough sun? In Southern states, 10 to 15 minutes midday, with face and arms exposed and without sunblock, should do the trick. But in the fall and winter, folks living farther north often will still fall short.
If you can’t commit to daily sun breaks, or live in an area that doesn’t get strong enough rays year around, you may need a supplement to top up your levels.
Do you regularly get less than seven hours of shuteye a night? If so, no matter how well you feel you’re handling it you’re sleep deprived. And that messes with your immunities.
Not getting enough sleep raises your cortisol, or stress hormone, levels. And your immune system becomes less effective when cortisol is continually bombarding it.
But when you get the sleep you need, both your stress and cortisol levels drop. And your immune system is then able to do a far better job battling any invading bugs that threaten to make you sick.
Aim for seven to eight solid hours of quality sleep a night. If you need a bit of extra help to get back on a schedule, you can try a supplement such as melatonin, chamomile or valerian.
3. Avoid sugar:
If you’re a sugar addict, it’s time to get on the wagon. Because it only takes the amount of sugar in two sodas to throw your entire immune system out of whack.
Too much sugar can interfere with your white blood cells. It hinders their ability to attack and defeat the bugs threatening to make you sick. If you must add something sweet to a drink or dish stick to stevia to help keep your immunities firing on all cylinders.
Sugar blocks white blood cells from being effective. But exercise creates them. And it doesn’t take becoming an athlete to make it happen. Just walking five to six times a week, is enough to keep your immunities in tip-top shape.
5. Reduce stress:
Sleep deprivation isn’t the only thing that sends cortisol levels skyrocketing. You might look cool as a cucumber on the outside. But no matter how well you appear to be handling stress your immune system knows the truth about what’s going on under the surface.
So starting today, you need to seek out ways to relieve your stress. Whether it’s settling down with a good book and a hot cup of tea, taking a soothing bath, or something else entirely it’s essential you take time out to de-stress daily. And consider adopting a daily calming habit such as meditation or tai-chi.
When you lower your stress levels, your cortisol will drop, and your immune system will be better equipped to battle off sickening bugs.
6. Laugh more:
Laughing is by far my favorite immune-boosting trick on the list. As strange as it sounds, researchers say laughing can literally help us stay healthy.
Laughter naturally reduces your stress hormone levels. But it also increases a specific type of white blood cell that fights off infections.
So go ahead and let loose with some belly laughs on a regular basis. Cut up with your friends. Watch some funny videos. Or get a joke a day calendar and yuck it up every morning. You’ll be having fun and fighting off illness at the same time.
A stack of studies has found listening to music can reduce stress. But now a new study has taken it a step further. According to researchers to bust through immune-destroying stress, we should be singing too.
Researchers from Germany found that singing increases levels of S-IgA, an antibody crucial to the health and overall effectiveness of your immunities. So go ahead and sign up for the church choir, head out for some karaoke, or just belt out your favorite tunes in the shower.
It doesn’t matter if you have a great voice or not. Either way, it can help keep the bugs away.
Don’t let back to school season make you sick. Supercharge your immunities starting today with these seven tricks.