As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop worldwide, increasing health and optimising our immune systems has never been more important. A strong immune system aids in fighting infections and improved healing of the body. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is required to strengthen your body’s natural immune response.  Below are 4 tips to strengthen the immune system.
Research suggests that maintaining a good sleep-wake cycle helps boost your natural immunity. The production of good immune cells peaks at night time when you sleep.  These cells play a key role in recognising nasty cells, coordinating immune responses and modulating the immune system.
When you have not had enough sleep, your body goes into “fight-or-flight” mode and your body releases adrenaline. This contributes to increased levels of stress, further compromising your immune system.
Adults should aim to have a minimum of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, adolescents 9-11 hours per night and children up to 14 hours of sleep a night. Creating a comfortable, quiet and dark environment to sleep in with a regular bedtime routine will help to achieve a greater quality of sleep.
Regular, moderate physical activity has been proven to help improve the normal functioning of the immune system.  Improvements in immunity due to regular exercise may be due to reduced inflammation, regulation of “old” and “new” immune cells, enhanced surveillance of immune cells and the improvement of psychological stress. 
Recommended physical activity guidelines as stipulated by the Australian Department of Health:
The immune system is a complex system which requires a number of cells with different functions to coordinate and play their roles. Stress impairs the immune system’s ability to produce antibodies (cells which fight infection) in response to an infection. 
Some ways to help manage stressors in your life include:
Maintaining a well-balanced diet ensures that you have an adequate intake of the nutrients and vitamins required to produce immune cells that fight off infection. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating suggests that your diet should incorporate a variety of colourful and nutritious foods from the 5 food groups, while limiting your intake of foods high in sugar and saturated fats. The 5 food groups include:
For more information about recommended daily intake of the food groups, healthy recipes and meal plans, visit the eatforhealth.gov.au website.
It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle which optimally supports the immune system. The above interventions are powerful behavioural interventions which can be adopted by anyone. At Lakeside Chiropractic, our experienced and holistic chiropractors can provide information and resources about living a healthy lifestyle to improve overall better health outcomes. If you have any enquiries or would like to book an appointment, feel free to contact one of our friendly staff on 9300 0095 or visit our website at www.lakesidechiro.com.au.
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