A robust immune system is crucial for your health and a high quality of life. If there is anything these last few months have taught us, maintaining your health, and understanding how to improve it is vital. Living a lifestyle that supports our innate defense system is perhaps the best way to prevent sickness and disease. Addressing these four areas-exercise, diet, stress, and supplementation-will help you to improve and support your immune system.

The foundation of any good immune system will always be found in your daily lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise. High quality food consumed regularly ensures a good place to start.  Make fruits and vegetables the bulk of your diet. Colorful fruits and vegetables contain fiber, both, water- and fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your immune system needs to help fight any invaders.  Antioxidants guard against free radicals, molecules that can harm your cells and lead to dis-ease. To get a wide range of vital nutrients, go for oranges, peppers, carrots, berries, papaya, leafy greens, and cantaloupe. Exercise is a simple way to rev up your overall health.  It is also necessary to promoting circulation, move lymph and improve detoxification.  This allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move throughout the body freely and do their job efficiently. 15-30 minutes of any type of physical activity and movement can helpful –   a bike ride, walking, stretching, swimming, or even playing golf can all be helpful.

Stress management plays an especially important role in keeping your body balanced. Engaging in hobbies, spending ample time outdoors in nature, staying physically active and maintaining healthy relationships with your friends, family, and pets are all great ideas for keeping a balanced mental state.  Humor goes a long way, too. We encourage you to be an emotional “filter” and not a “sponge.”  Remain light-hearted, do not take things too seriously, do not dwell on the bad stuff, forgive quickly, and look for a silver lining (even in tough times).  Not only does it make you feel better, there is no downside. When we allow stress to rule the day, our bodies produce hormones and chemical messengers which can suppress the immune system and decrease our bodies’ ability to fight off invaders. Probably, most importantly, do not forget about quality sleep.  Without it, your immune system cannot repair and recover. Most children and adults need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.  Give yourself time to unwind at the end of the day, as well.  Consider giving up the “plug-in-drug” and turn off our TV.  Also, turning off your phone and going offline is often necessary to really minimize stress. It will help you find time to exercise and get some extra sun exposure, too.

In times of acute stress, illness, or during winter months when we are inside more, symptoms of “cold and flu” can be more common. The daily use of nutritional supplementation is another important facet of a healthy immune regime. Vitamins A, D, C, and Zinc, among others, are some of the highest recommended supplements. Of course, do not just grab any random supplement off the shelves of your local supermarket; consult with a trusted physician to find out what your body needs and what is safe for you. When deeper support is needed, Intravenous (IV) therapy with Vitamin C, ozone, and other nutrient formulas can assist the body to heal and restore.