The weather is changing, and spring has finally arrived. This is the season of getting out there, having fun and spending time with loved ones that you’ve missed over the winter. It would be a shame to miss out on this because you weren’t feeling well.
What many people do not realize is that even though the weather has improved, the human body is still vulnerable to infection. Your immune system is still getting over the winter cold and seasonal bugs. Luckily for our community, the healthcare professionals at California Urgent Care Center have some tips to help boost your immunity this spring!
Eight Ways to Boost Your Immune System for Spring
1. Moderate Alcohol Intake
Whether you’re going to a pool party, barbeque, or another get-together, remember to moderate your alcohol intake. Too much alcohol can weaken your body’s defenses, resulting in you getting sick more often. Most men and women can handle two drinks a day without serious immunity repercussions. The key is moderation.
2. Quit Smoking
We know this is easier said than done! It’s important to understand that nicotine has several negative effects on the body. One of those effects includes weakening your immune system. So, this spring do yourself a favor and try to quit smoking. It is a major life change, but even attempting to quit can help improve your overall health, so hang in there! Feel free to discuss ways to quit with your provider today!
3. Eat Healthier
A diverse diet full of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, legumes, protein, and healthy fats supports the immune system. These foods carry vital nutrients like vitamins B6, C, and E. In addition to nutrients, adding antioxidants to your diet will help guard your cells against harmful molecules called free radicals. Oranges, strawberries, grapes, salmon, chicken, potatoes, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, and spinach can all be a great addition to your diet to help boost your overall health this spring.
4. Stay Hydrated
Keeping your body hydrated will go a long way in helping your immune system stay boosted. You may already know that dehydration can affect your heart and kidney functions. However, did you also know that dehydration hinders your breathing, digestion, mood, focus, and physical performance? As the weather warms up and you start shaking off those winter blues, remember to stay hydrated this spring.
5. Get Moving
Getting up to 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day can give your immune system a big boost. Activities like running, biking, walking, swimming or other exercises stimulate your immune system. However, it is possible to overdo it. Excessive exercise can suppress your immune system, so try not to go overboard. If you have any health conditions, make sure to talk with your provider to confirm which exercise routines are right for you. This spring, get your body moving and try out a few exercise routines to find the one that works for you.
6. Find Time to Relax
Reducing stress is a big booster when it comes to your immune system. When your body produces a stress response, it sharpens your mind and body’s responses at the cost of your immune system. Repeated stressful situations can subsequently take a toll on you. To prevent this, identify what causes stress in your life and learn how to relieve it. Activities like meditation, prayer, journaling, painting, or exercise are great tools to help you cope with life stressors. The important part is taking the time each day, even if just for a few minutes, to show up for yourself and relax.
7. Catch Some ZZZs
Sleep and immunity go hand-in-hand. It’s not surprising that lack of sleep can hurt your immune system. During the different stages of life, adequate sleep requirements vary. Adults should aim to get 7 hours of sleep each night, teenagers should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, and infants should get 14 to 17 hours of sleep each day.
8. Wash Your Hands
You have probably heard this one a lot recently, but that’s only because it is so effective. If you have germs on your hands, you can accidentally introduce them into your system just by touching your face. This is why you should wash your hands regularly, and for at least 20 seconds (if not 30) whenever you wash. A good tip to ensure you’re washing your hands for the appropriate length of time is to hum the “happy birthday” song to yourself twice. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is good in a pinch, but it is no substitute for good hand scrubbing.
Still Have Questions About Your Immune System Health?
These tips are not a 100 percent guarantee of good health this spring. Sometimes we get sick despite our best efforts. If you do get sick, we’re here for you. The healthcare professionals at California Urgent Care Center are here to help. We have offices in Stockton, Lodi, and Manteca, so great healthcare is always available to you. Walk-ins are welcome or you can fill out our online contact form or call the nearest center for an appointment.