LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — With COVID-19, flu season and winter weather starting to arrive, there are a lot of things right now that affect one’s health. Having a strong, balanced immune system can help people stay healthy.
“So that they’re much less likely to get an infection or if they happen to get sick, they might have an easier time or an easier recovery,” said Dr. Madeline Fisher with CHI Saint Joseph Health.
Overall, it’s important to know the immune system is just that – a system, so there is no one magic trick to strengthening it. It comes down to a balance of healthy habits.
Dr. Fisher’s first tip is to maintain a healthy diet of whole foods, including fruits and vegetables. Vitamin supplements can help, but it’s better to get nutrients from a natural source.
“Also making sure to drink enough water, so that your body is able to flush out any toxins that would be in your system,” said Dr. Fisher.
Some people with certain health concerns may need supplements. Dr. Fisher says if that’s the case, it’s important to consult with a doctor first.
Exercise is also important, but that can be difficult to keep up with during winter weather and gym restrictions. Dr. Fisher says even a short brisk walk every day or every couple of days can help.
Also, take advantage of colder temperatures to grab a blanket and head to bed a little earlier.
“Making sure to get enough sleep so that you’re well-rested so your immune system is able to fight off infections,” said Dr. Fisher. “The amount of sleep that someone needs can vary depending on the person, but most adults need eight or nine hours a night.”
Other tips include minimizing stress, practicing frequent handwashing, and keeping up with regular doctor visits.