Today, tomorrow, and forever, it’s imperative that you take care of your immune system. Believe it or not, you can use lifestyle habits for healthy immune function right where you are. There’s never been a better time to build these healthy habits into your daily life.
These healthy habits are science-backed methods to support immune function. Here’s how you can use each one to lift your mood, your faith, and your immune system today.
Let’s start with a joyful habit. Laughter.
Have you ever wondered why we laugh? Why did God give us this gift?
It is an amazing health-promoting habit. The more you can build laughter into your daily life, the more you’ll reduce cortisol, improve your mood, and decrease depression.
These, in turn, will encourage healthy immune function.
Interestingly, multiple studies show that the benefits of smiling and laughter are experienced whether its real or fake. So, fake it if you need to, and get in a good belly laugh each day.
Sleep is one of the strongest immune-boosters available to you. It can support your immune function through your lymph system and help your body restore itself each day.
How is sleep one of the strongest lifestyle habits for healthy immune function?
It allows your body and brain to recoup, restore, and fight disease. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines which both promote sleep and fight disease. When you are awake, your body must do the work of being awake, moving, and maintaining an active brain. This takes most of its resources. When you are asleep, it can do maintenance on your body.
What’s more, sleep deprivation is well-documented as a factor in decreased immunity and increased illness, decreasing immune cells in number and strength (1).
One study of 1,654 participants aged 20-74 years looked at sleep and its effects on those with various illnesses. It followed these participants for 20 years (2). The results indicated that participants with existing high blood pressure or impaired blood sugars, who slept less than 6 hours per night, were 1.8 times likely to die of heart disease or stroke.
God has created us for relationships, and they are important for overall health and healthy immune function.
Positive relationships can improve your mood and decrease stress. This, in turn, can promote a strong immune system (see more below).
To maintain relationships even when you can’t always be with each other in-person:
Maintain the relationships that are important to you. It’s good for your health and immune function!
It’s always the perfect time to allow gratitude and optimism to prevail. You can get your gratitude journal going again. You may have started one during the Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season last year. Or, this idea may be new to you.
Gratitude journals, focusing on small daily blessings, are powerful. Being grateful is associated with better mental, emotional, and physical health and immunity.
To start a gratitude journal, first simply get a pen and a paper, or a journal. Next, write 5-10 “gratitudes” per day. They can be big or small things. You can write them throughout the day, or at the beginning or end. Just choose to focus on simple gratitudes each day as one of your lifestyle habits to support healthy immune function and more.
Right now, you might feel like you don’t have many options for exercise. But actually, you have 2 great options: exercise in your home OR outside.
In fact, if you look online for free yoga, aerobic, or other classes, you’ll likely find some great ones. Some gyms and studios are offering online class streams.
Or, get outside! Whether it’s just a short walk or a ride on a bike, God has given us a huge gift in the mood-elevating outdoors. Not only is any activity good for our muscles, hearts, and brains, outdoor-activity specifically has been shown to improve mood and depression (3). What’s more, if the sun is shining, your body will make Vitamin D, an immune-stimulated vitamin.
And there’s even more good news: When you exercise, a group of immune cells called myokines are produced and released by the skeletal muscles. These promote immune function and whole-body health benefits (4).
Prayer is not a last-ditch effort for health and immune function, but a foundation for your relationship with God, your mental health, physical health, and entire well-being.
In fact, prayer releases control from you and gives it to God. It helps change your heart towards any stressful situation, even if the situation itself doesn’t change. And lastly, it allows you to focus on truth. God’s truth is that He is with you in any circumstance. That nothing is too big. And, that He will walk with you through it.
The act of prayer has shown to increase certain helpful neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which help promote a state of relaxation, focus, motivation, and well-being.
God has given us prayer as an amazing cortisol-releasing activity that brings us closer to Him while improving our health. As stress goes down, the efficacy of the immune system increases.
All of the above activities, from exercise to laughing to sleep, are stress-releasing activities. They all reduce cortisol, and this has a direct impact on your immune system. They are all stress-reducing, lifestyle habits for a strong immune system.
But, you may know of some others to work great to reduce your own stress. What are they? Reading? Talking on the phone to a loved one?
If needed, think of 1-3 more activities you can do each day to decrease stress and cortisol.
As you do, you’ll promote immune health. High blood cortisol levels are correlated with increased blood pressure, poor immunity, negative moods, reduced sleep and energy, memory issues, and an increased incidence of diabetes and heart disease (5). Stress-reducing activities can help!
Your body is constantly bombarded with unhealthy compounds, toxins, and chemicals. Every day. Every hour. Some of these are ingested, some are inhaled, and others are byproducts of your body’s processes.
What can you do?
You can detox, fast, and cleanse your body from foods that harm it, and flood your body with nutrients that promote healthy immune, liver, digestive, lymph, and kidney function.
Interested? Learn more and sign up for Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast today!
You can use easy strategies to support your immune function and whole-body health. Get started now: laugh, sleep, maintain relationships, pray, reduce stress, exercise, and detox.
Support your immune system in every way you can. Learn more about Dr. Colbert’s 21 Day Detox and Fast today.