As the weather turns colder and we head into the season where it seems like everyone is getting sick, keeping your immune system functioning properly becomes even more important than usual. When you are on the road, the last thing you want is an unexpected illness hindering your plans or keeping you in the RV while your family is out exploring new places. Or, worse yet, forcing you to cancel a trip you have been looking forward to and planning for months. When it comes to proper immune system function, it is important to look both at what you are doing and what you are not doing that may be affecting your body’s ability to fend off common ailments like colds or the flu, as well as more cumbersome chronic illnesses. Easy lifestyle changes and eating a few tasty, healthy foods can make a significant difference when it comes to boosting your immune system, so it is well worth the effort to take a look at a few of the things you can do to help your body in its fight to stay healthy.
Combat Chronic Stress
While it is impossible to completely eliminate stress from your life, chronic stress is unhealthy and causes your body to be continuously exposed to stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Constant, long-term exposure to these hormones suppresses your immune system and makes you more susceptible to illness. To decrease your stress level, look to things you can add and take away from your life. Adding laughter, socializing, meditation, yoga and relaxation techniques are all positive things you can add to your life that will assist you in reducing stress and enjoying each day more. At the same time, consider the things in your life that are most stressful and find ways to reduce their impact on your stress level. Do you have a friend who seems to be a drama-magnet and is constantly turning to you and increasing your stress? As difficult as it might be, it might be time to limit your interaction with that person. Do you have a high-stress job? Consider your options for changing your line of work or changing aspects of your work situation to make it less stressful.
Diet and Exercise
We all know that those who exercise regularly and eat right tend to be healthier. What some may not know is that there is solid science behind this and rather concrete reasons for this being true. For example, those who partake in moderate exercise on a regular basis have higher levels of leukocytes, which are infection-fighting immune system cells. Science has also shown that diets high in sugar and fat limit the effectiveness of white blood cells, which are critical to proper immune system function and overall health. On the other hand, a diet that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants will boost immune system function and help fend off illness, as well as signs of aging.