Keeping Your Immune System at Peak Performance
Your body has a remarkable defense mechanism against germs and disease.
Your immune system is a complicated network of cells, tissues, and organs that has evolved to keep you healthy and fight off the attack of infectious diseases. However, it can only operate at its peak performance, if you are operating at your peak performance.
Nobody’s immune system is perfect. When a germ penetrates or overwhelms your body’s defenses, the result is you get sick. But, you can take steps to strengthen your immune system, and as we enter cold and flu season, it is even more important for you to boost your body’s defenses.
Your Immune System and Aging
Think about it, when you were a kid at school, ground zero for exposure to germs, if you got a cold, it barely slowed you down, and you got over it in a day or so. Even the flu is far less severe in children.
Now, as an adult between 35 -55, you may find that a simple cold can knock you on your back for days, and for elderly adults, the flu can be fatal!
This is because you body’s ability to combat disease, and your immune system does weaken as you grow older.
There are basically two parts of your immune system:
1) The innate immune system is your “physical” barriers against pathogens: your skin, your cough response, and your stomach acids.
2) The adaptive immune system is the complex interaction of specialized cells known as T-cells that “learn” to recognize and combat foreign invaders that get past your innate defenses.
The functions of both systems diminish as you age. Simply think of aging skin, and you can see how it is a less effective barrier than young and healthy skin. Your T-cells react primarily to inflammation. When you are young and strong, inflammation in your body is minimal, and usually only occurs when you are exposed to some microorganism that your T-cells will recognize, and then “store” and know how to combat.
As you get older, due to stress and exposure to toxins in the air we breathe and the foods we eat, your body is often in a state of almost chronic inflammation, and this overworks and weakens your adaptive immune system.
Steps You Can Take to Strengthen You Immune System
You can take steps to strengthen your immune system at any age. These include:
- If you smoke, quit – if you don’t – don’t start.
- Eat a diet rich in fruits and veggies and low in saturated fats.
- Be sure to exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight.
- Reduce salt and control your blood pressure.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Get enough sleep.
- Wash your hands regularly and take other steps to avoid infections.
- See your medical professional for regular check-ups.
Peak Performance at Any Age
Keeping your immune system strong and vital is an integral part of a holistic and interventional approach to keeping you at your all around peak performance at any age. You can find many more tips on healthy living and optimal aging on our website, or by subscribing to our Newsletters.
Do you get more colds now than when you were younger?
Are you doing all you can to boost your immune system?
Are you interested in, or have you experienced alternative ways, other than vaccines to avoid infectious diseases?
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