Good health is something we all desire to keep us and our loved ones strong, energized, and happy. One way we can strengthen our overall health is to build up a healthy immune system. This can protect us against dangerous viruses and bacteria that can lead to gum disease. If you’re worried about becoming sick, you can do more than washing your hands for 20 seconds and not touching your face. Here are five ways you can boost your immune system right now and increase your chances of remaining healthy long-term:
- Eat a high-nutrition diet
Unprocessed whole foods rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, can do wonders for your immune system. Instead of ordering take-out, try making a salad with dark, leafy greens, fruit and nuts, cheese, and protein from meat or eggs. The more colorful your plate, the more virus-fighting and immune-building foods you will be eating.
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day
In addition to eating a well-balanced diet, cardio and strength training play a big role in the fight against sickness. Exercising strengthens your heart and muscles and may help remove bacteria from your lungs. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. The American Heart Association recommends a target heart rate of 50-70% for moderate-intensity activity.
- Get the right amount of sleep
While most people know the importance of good sleep, very few get the required amount each night. Adults need between 7-8 hours of restful sleep, while the number is higher for teenagers and children. Good sleep helps improve your immune system and regulate hormones like cortisol (the primary stress hormone) that can affect glucose levels and blood pressure.
- Practice healthy lifestyle habits
Lifestyle choices, such as smoking, drinking, or an unhealthy diet, can hinder your ability to fight viruses and disease. Decreasing or quitting these habits can help improve your weight, sleep, and overall health. Practicing good oral health habits can also boost your immunity to bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease. Brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, then visit your dentist twice a year for cleanings and check-ups.
- Be mindful and stay positive
Your mental and emotional state can influence your immune system. While reducing stressors helps you feel better, practicing positivity can boost your mood—and immunity—too. To help improve your outlook and health, especially if you’ve been at home a lot, focus on positive practices such as meditation, yoga, pursuing a favorite hobby, or connecting routinely with loved ones.
Schedule Your Appointment
It’s never too late to begin boosting your immune system with healthy lifestyle choices and habits! Since your mouth is the gateway to your body, start your journey to better health—and a happy immune system—by scheduling your dental appointment today.