Given the surges in COVID-19, and being Flu and Cold season, now is not the time to let your immune system weaken.  You might not be aware, but there are some everyday habits that might be hindering your immune system.  Here are some common mistakes you might be making that may be weakening your immune system.

You don’t make time for yourself:

Mental and emotional stress have a direct effect on the immune system.  When stressed, the body releases hormones that lower levels of white blood cells.  With fewer white blood cells your body has a harder time fighting bacterial and viral antigens.  Take time to meditate, express gratitude and set aside time to do activities that you enjoy.  Seek some help if the stress gets too much to handle on your own.

You eat a lot of processed foods:

Processed foods (foods that are high in sugar, salt, and refined carbs) attack the good bacteria in your gut, opening the door for harmful bacteria to come in and weaken your intestinal immune system.

You skimp on sleep:

Research has shown that getting six or less hours of sleep each night is linked to a greater risk of catching a cold.  While sleeping, your body releases protein that protects you against inflammation and infection.  If you don’t get enough hours of sleep your body won’t produce as many proteins to protect you.

You drink too much:

Alcohol can wreak havoc on your immune system. It impacts on your gut health by stripping the healthy bacteria leaving room for harmful bacteria to move in.  This harmful bacteria will pass into your liver creating an inflamed liver hindering its ability to cleanse your body’s toxins.  Drinking can also suppress the production of cells that make antibodies that destroy viruses and bacteria.

You smoke:

The chemical components in tobacco affects the mucosal lining of your respiratory tract from your nose to your lungs.  Your body will produce excess mucous which narrow your airways and makes it harder for your lungs to remove toxins, increasing your chances of infection.

You skip the flu shot:

Getting vaccinated drops your risk of infection by 50%.

You put off your exercising:

Exercising enhances immunity.  It increases antibodies and white blood cells which enables your body to target infection earlier and fight it off more effectively.  Exercise is also a great way to manage stress and reduce stress hormones.