Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Immune system boosters for the whole family -- Guest Post

Immune system boosters for the whole family
Does it seem like cold and flu season never ends at your house? Usually, it follows a pattern.
One family member brings the illness home, and before you know it, everyone comes down with
the sickness.

Fortunately, there is a way to break this cycle. Building a stronger immune system is easier than
you think, and it might even bring you closer as a family.

Exercise Together

Increasing the functioning of your immune system can be as simple as elevating your heart rate
for 20 minutes three times each week. That’s because regular exercise has been shown to
increase the number of leukocytes in the human body. These powerhouse cells are associated
with a robust immune system. Additionally, physical activity also releases a helpful, pleasurable
rush of endorphins that can boost feelings of well being and help you sleep better. Make exercise
a regular family activity. Take a walk, go for a bike ride, play basketball, hit the tennis court or
kick around a soccer ball.

Get Plenty of Sleep

When we’re short on sleep, we’re much more likely to get colds and flus. Scientists think that
lack of sleep causes an increase of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body. Inadequate sleep can
also cause inflammation and irritability, so getting seven to nine hours every night is important
for adults. Kids may need even more. For optimum results, make sure kids get eight hours at a
minimum, and even 10 hours can be beneficial.

Manage Stress

A little stress can be good for the body. It helps us respond appropriately to danger and can even
motivate us to complete tasks. However, too many people live in a constant state of stress. When
you’re under stress for long periods of time, your body produces an excess of cortisol and
adrenaline. Both of these substances have the effect of suppressing the immune system, leaving
the door open for minor colds and also more serious diseases.

To combat stress, consider meditation. Although it takes practice, studies have shown that
regular meditation has a positive effect on the strength of the immune system. You can meditate
as a family or individually. However, if the meditation route isn’t right for you, there’s other
ways to break the cycle of stress. Among the most powerful of these is the word “no.” When
your family is constantly being pulled in a dozen different directions because of too many
obligations, then it’s time to think about what can be cut out. A little extra free time can
significantly reduce stress. Plus, that free time gives your family a chance to do something
together. Perhaps you could watch a funny movie together, as scientists have found that laughing
actually has the effect of reducing stress hormones in the body.

Cut Down on Sugar and Fat

Eating unhealthy foods is a sure way to pack on the pounds, but it also reduces the immune
system’s ability to attack harmful bacteria. It’s white blood cells that fight these bacteria, and
they can’t operate at optimum strength when the body is under the influence of a lot of fat and
sugar. If dessert is a daily habit for your family, start scaling back to see an improved immune

Supplement with Antioxidants

Your body naturally produces molecules that are called free radicals, which can damage your
healthy cells. When you consume antioxidants, you provide your body with the tools it needs to
fight off the free radicals. Antioxidants like vitamins C and E along with zinc and beta-carotene
can revolutionize the functioning of your immune system. Apples, berries, spinach, sweet
potatoes, red grapes, onions and carrots are all filled with healthy antioxidants. You might also
supplement your menu with fresh garlic and mushrooms like shiitake and maitake to provide a
further boost.

Cut Out a Bad Habit

Smoking brings with it many negative side effects. Not only does the smoker suffer physically,
but those who inhale the second hand smoke do as well. A house where there is a smoker is
much more likely to have inhabitants that are susceptible to illness, one more good reason to
kick the habit forever.

Author Bio
Ron Thompson writes for Del-Immune V®, a unique probiotic supplement made from the
lactobacillus rhamnosus which is a natural sinus treatment and offers immune boosting support.

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