White blood cells, antibodies, lymph nodes, internal organs, etc. make your body's immune system, but building a strong immunity has proved elusive for several reasons. Because the immune system is a ‘system’ rather than a single thing. Hence, it needs to be in balance to function properly.
Many lifestyle habits make up the inner workings of our immune system. But sometimes several lifestyle factors, like nutrition, exercise, age, physiological stress, and maintaining good hygiene, can affect the building of a strong immune system.
This leads to an internal glitch and your system is unable to defend you against disease-causing microorganisms. This makes you more vulnerable to disease, respiratory infections like influenza, the COVID-19 virus, and pneumonia, which can cause severe illness and even death.
For decades, researchers have been examining the outside factors responsible for the immune response. But the effects of lifestyle on the immune system are still unclear in many ways. In the meantime, following these five-minute ideas for a stronger immune system is a good way for you and your family to get started.
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly is important. Not just this. Washing for at least 20 seconds every time you've been outside or potentially exposed to bacteria and viruses is a general rule of thumb. This kills the point of contact-to-contact transfer of germs and reduces the likelihood to make you sick or infected. Regular hand-washing would help because:
Most people have a habit of touching their eyes, nose, and mouth, which could be the entry-point for germs.
Germs from infected hands can get into the food you eat.
Germs on your hands can infect nearby objects, which can be then transferred to another person.
Keep you safe after handling animals.
On a daily basis, we use and touch many things like furniture, coins, etc. Every object that we touch can carry germs that can be transferred into the body.
Besides handwashing, we must also maintain clean surroundings by following some measures that help us attain a disease-free life.
Daily washing of undergarments and handkerchiefs.
Sterilise your frequently used gadgets, like phones.
Use sanitiser/ house cleaner liquid on a soft cloth and scrub the tabletops and chairs every day.
Our bodies operate like a machine and if we don't use a machine frequently, the parts will start to malfunction and rust. When we exercise, white blood cells and antibodies flow throughout the body, which allows them to detect invaders much more quickly.
Exercise also helps keep viruses and bacteria out of the respiratory system, which helps prevent flu and common colds. Now you don't have to run a marathon or be a bodybuilder in order to boost your immune system. Just exercise.
Overdoing it can do more harm than good. What's important is to have an active lifestyle that includes exercising regularly.
Therefore, making physical activity a habit, going for a walk or bicycling for 20 to 30 minutes three to five times per week is enough for most people.
When we are sleep-deprived and under high stress or just tired from our daily chores, our body's ability to fight infection is dramatically reduced. Because cortisol, a stress hormone, is activated.
So getting adequate sleep for at least 7-9 hours at night, followed by deep breathing daily, can help you feel energised. There is scientific evidence that diaphragmatic breathing increases efficiency in oxygen absorption and supply.
It strengthens the chest muscles to improve lung capacity and digestion and, in turn, builds a strong immune system.
How to perform:
Breathe air through the nose slowly and let the air enter your belly. Focus solely on feeling an expansion in the belly. Keep your mouth closed.
Tighten your muscles and force the air out by breathing out through your mouth.
Brushing your teeth twice daily can keep your teeth free from germs and infections. Your mouth contains approximately 400–500 different types of bacteria, many of which are beneficial to your oral health.
Make it a habit to brush twice and floss before going to bed at night. This will flush out all viruses that stop your lungs from functioning at their best. This makes a suitable environment or habitat for good bacteria and builds a strong immune system.
Herbal tea in kashayam is known to be a wonderful antidote to combat common ailments like sore throat, flu, cough and indigestion. You can make this herbal concoction by boiling five ingredients and reducing it to half to make it more potent.
Things you’ll need:
Cloves, also called lavang in Hindi
Black peppercorn powder or kali mirch
Fresh tulsi leaves, also called basil
How does this help? It adds antioxidants to your body and helps in upping your immunity to fight infections effectively. Drink it once or twice a day. But a word of caution is, it should only be used as medicine.
The recommended use is for a maximum of 21 days.
Immunity cannot be boosted instantly. Our immune system is complex to regulate, control, or improve. So, how to build a strong immune system? Have a nutritious, balanced diet and make appropriate lifestyle changes. It’s also a good idea to have kadha - immunity boosting tea. Boosting your immunity, however, is not enough. You need to keep a check on your health too. And, online immunity score calculators help you keep a check on this. While we take care of our immunity it is important to take care of our savings too. Just like a medical emergency disrupts our immunity, it disrupts our savings, leaving us financially unstable. Here’s why getting health insurance is a wise decision.