11 easy immune boosters for cold and flu season
By Elizabeth Kuster,: upwave
Singing and laughing have been shown to boost immunity
Probiotics and prebiotics can also play a role
Massage, meditation and sleep can be techniques to try
Sick and tired of getting sick and tired every time a cold or flu bug rolls through your world? Want to improve your well-being, have more energy and maybe even live longer?
Start working some of these fun (and simple!) immune boosters into your regular schedule, and you may be able to ward off illness better in the future. Here's looking achoo, immune system!
Research shows thatis an -- even if you're off-key. So sing in the shower in the morning. Sing in the car during your commute. Sing at home when you're doing the dinner dishes. But don't sing at work. That would be weird. (Just sayin'.)
According to a variety of studies, laughterand . So listen to a hilarious podcast or shock-jock while you get ready for work. Watch an episode of your favorite sitcom while you eat breakfast. Watch a stand-up DVD during dinner. Crack open a funny book before you hit the hay. The more you LOL on a daily basis, the more you help your immune system stay strong. (And the nice thing about laughter is, it's often contagious. So you can spread the healthy benefits to others!)
Stress is Public Enemy No. 1 when it comes to your immune system (the cortisol it produces), so anything that lowers your stress levels will help your immune system do its job. Identify the people and activities that calm you down and take you to your happy place, then start fitting 'em into your schedule on a regular basis.
The health of the GI tract plays a big role in bolstering the immune system. In fact, Amanda Bontempo, a registered dietitian at NYC's Montefiore-Einstein Center for Cancer Care, told upwave that ""
A major key to digestive health? Probiotics, all of which contain so-called " " that helps your GI tract do its thang.
These soluble fibers -- which are found in foods such as-- help probiotics work their magic, and therefore help the GI tract, too.
6. Human touch
Getting a massage, hugging, holding hands, having sex -- all. According to research, getting a 45-minute massage also bolsters pathogen-fighting white blood cells and reduces inflammatory cytokines, which have been .
Having sex, hugging and holding hands cause our bodies to release cortisol-lowering oxytocin, making them awesome immune-system improvers. Some experts, in fact, recommendto take your oxytocin benefits to the max. So get your hug on!
Mindfulness meditation positively influences the immune system; according to one study, participants who meditated for eight weeks showed an. If you're a morning person, start your day with a three-minute meditation session.
Not an early bird? Meditate for three minutes when you get home from work, or when you're getting ready for bed. Meditation newbie?, courtesy of upwave review-board member Terri Cole.
8. Solid shut-eye
Studies have found that sleep deprivation, thereby reducing your body's ability to fight off disease-causing pathogens. If you don't get eight hours of sleep on a regular basis, start taking steps to improve your sleep hygiene now. For tips (which include making 2 p.m. your last call for caffeine), check out our .
9. Moderate exercise
Exercise doesn't just help your body fight infection: Research shows that it also. Even taking a 20-minute walk every day will strengthen your body's disease-fighting capabilities -- 10 minutes out, and 10 minutes back. That's it!
10. Human connection
According to research published by the American Psychological Association,and compromises the body's ability to fight infection. Social ties such as marriage, on the other hand, strengthen it. Feeling lonely? Seek the company of others -- it will .
Green veggies like bok choy, kale and broccoli give your immune system a leg up by ensuring that. , anyone?
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