If you’ve turned on the news in the last few months, you probably know the basics of how to protect yourself against illness. Wash your hands often, disinfect commonly touched surfaces, limit your interaction with others outside the home, practice social distancing when around others and wear a mask in public.

But did you know you can also take steps to protect yourself by keeping your immune system strong and healthy? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to share some tips on how can you do that.

What Exactly Does the Immune System Do?

Think of your immune system as your body’s defense mechanism. It is a complex system of organs, cells and other parts of the body that work together to fend off bacteria and viruses.

When it’s functioning optimally, your immune system will spot germs entering your body and immediately take action to rid the body of them. But when your immunity is diminished for some reason, it can’t fight as hard against germs.

Signs Your Immune System Is Weakened

  • You feel overly stressed and overwhelmed.
  • You develop colds and other illnesses often.
  • You experience GI troubles, including diarrhea or constipation.
  • You have wounds that heal very slowly.
  • You feel fatigued all the time.

How Can I Boost My Immune System?

The good news is: You can take steps to boost your immune system, which in turn can help your body fend off illness. It all starts with a healthy lifestyle.

You hear about it often, but what exactly is a healthy lifestyle? It consists of some basic best practices for staying healthy—eat a balanced diet, exercise regularly, get enough quality sleep, don’t smoke, limit your alcohol intake and find healthy ways to manage stress.

How to Manage Stress

  • Find ways to relax, such as meditation or yoga.
  • Pick up a hobby you enjoy.
  • Exercise regularly for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption.
  • Eat a healthy diet, focusing on fruits and veggies.

Not feeling at your best? Schedule an AFC Urgent Care appointment with AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah to get the care you need from the comfort of home.