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You Make Me Sick! 6 Things That Can Weaken Your Immune Response


November 19, 2013 | Published by

You awake to a stuffy nose, achy body, 5 alarm headache, and feeling like you slept all of 20 minutes. Sick? But how? You stocked up on vitamins, wash your hands more than you’d like to admit, and keep your distance from anyone with the faintest cough. But you’ve also been extra stressed, not sleeping well, and haven’t had time to get to the gym–all things that can weaken the immune system’s response to illness. Here’s six common things that can put a hamper on our immune defenses.

1. Chronic/High Levels of Stress

Everyone experiences stress–some of it is good food for us even–but high or chronic stress can lead to a myriad of health problems, including a weakened immune system. Getting some unwinding in daily can help with your overall stress load. Walks, taking time for a hobby, and meditation are just a few examples–click here for more stress management activities

2. Junk Foods

Regular consumption of refined, sugary, fatty, or caffeinated foods and alcohol can wreak all sorts of havoc on your body, like increasing stress and fatigue and hampering immune function. During stressful times it’s easy (and just darn tasty) to go for quick sugary fixes, but you’ll be much better off snacking on whole nutritious foods. Here’s some quick and tasty ideas for delicious breakfasts and lunches

3. Not Enough Quality Bed Time

Sleep supports both the stress system and the immune system, so not getting enough sleep can make it easier to get sick, and harder to manage stress. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Having difficulties with sleep? Our sleep tips may help

4. Too Much Negativity

Several studies have found a strong connection between optimism strong immune systems. Focusing on the positive can also make obstacles and stresses easier to manage. Taking deep breaths, reframing negative situations into manageable ones, and better managing the stress we cannot change can all help.

5. Lack of Exercise

Exercise has many benefits, including boosting the body’s ability to fight off illness. When you’re stressed out and frazzled, exercise is one of the last things on your mind. The irony is lack of exercise leads to fatigue and feeling unwell. Getting the motivation to get up for 15-30 minutes of light exercise will pay off in dividends, and will be well worth the initial frustration. Go here for tips on getting into an exercise routine

6. Not Enough Socializing

Turns out we just feel better when we have positive social interactions with others. Regardless of how busy you are, take time to be in the company of others. And don’t be afraid to be choosy with your associates; your time will be better spent around positive and encouraging people, not energy vampires and Negative Nancies.

Further reading on immune system function and enhancement:

Dr. Wilson’s Guide to Immune Enhancers

Natural Flu Support: EPS and Lactobacillus Bulgaricus

Vitamin C and Zinc for the Cold: Your Mom was Right

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