Grandfather growing organic vegetables with grandchildren and family at farmBeing sick is no fun! It leads to loss of hours at work, sometimes without pay, as well as many other missed commitments. Plus, you just feel lousy on top of having the inconvenience of rescheduling missed appointments and making up for time recovering.

While getting sick can simply not be avoided at times, there are certain things that you can do to boost your immune system which in turn will help you ward off illness. The great news? The top three things to keep your immune system in prime condition are not complicated, expensive or time-consuming. In fact, they're probably things your mother has been telling you to do since you were a child!

1. Get adequate sleep

While this seems like such a simple thing, there are many people who ignore this advice and their body pays the price. Many restorative processes happen during sleep, but namely, the immune system has time to recover. When our body is at rest, important energy is freed up to address other issues such as producing more of a protein called cytokine that can help address infection and inflammation. Our bodies are also given a chance to produce the mighty prizefighting T-cells, white blood cells that fight infection. Adequate sleep for an adult is at least 7 hours a night.

2. Eat well

Fodo choices are so important! If you consider your body as a well-tuned machine that needs the best fuel available to function at top performance, it isn't hard to believe that what we eat can be considered the building blocks for our body. Highly-processed, fatty, sugary foods increase inflammation in the body which makes it much more difficult to fight disease and infection. Diets rich in whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and seafood can reduce disease risk and promote healthy immune function.

3. Stay active

Exercise does more than just increase muscle mass. Regular exercise is a huge support to your immune system in a number of ways. Exercise actually supports white blood cells, the body's “army” cells that seek out and destroy infection. Exercise helps these cells circulate more rapidly, allowing for an increased ability to detect infection. Increased blood flow from exercise also helps clear bacteria out of airways. Exercise can also help manage stress, which in turn reduces stress hormones, thereby allowing improved circulation of immune cells.

Your body is an incredible collection of processes designed to keep you healthy and well. Lend it a hand and do what you can to support your immune system. Your body will thank you!

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