Volume 8 Issue 4

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Page 18 | Abby's Magazine | We will be exploring a couple of easy steps you can take to for fy your immunity, by making some simple lifestyle changes, to help you to (hopefully) make it through these tough few months of cold and flu season unscathed. First, let's explore why our immune system is so important, and what its primary roles are. The Role of Your Immune System Our immune system has two major roles. One is to protect us from danger, like infec ons. The other is to repair our ssues and help our cells "take out the garbage" (i.e. clear up cellular waste/remove dead cells) on a regular basis. The immune system uses inflamma on as the primary tool in both of these func ons, but that inflamma on must be held in almost perfect balance for us to stay healthy. Too much inflamma on and we can develop chronic illnesses such as arthri s, diabetes, and demen a, among others. The good news! We can 'tune up' our immune system by modifying some of our behaviors, such as by exercising and ea ng healthier. Benefits of Exercise Most people are familiar with the public health recommenda ons for physical ac vity to improve our health, which is that adults should do at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical ac vity. Physical ac vity is associated with reduced rate of heart complica ons, stroke, diabetes, and demen a. It also gives us endorphins and helps us achieve and maintain our weight. Exercise is also thought to improve our immunity, as well. Some studies show that moderate physical ac vity may help to flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. This may in turn reduce the chances of ge ng a cold or flu. Exercise can also cause changes in an bodies and white blood cells. For reference, white blood cells are the body's immune system cells that fight disease. These an bodies or white blood cells circulate more rapidly a er we exercise, which enables them to detect illnesses earlier than they may have before. Also, the brief rise in body temperature during and a er working out may even prevent bacteria from growing. This temperature rise may help the body fight infec on be er. Lastly, exercise slows down the release of stress hormones, and lower stress hormones may protect you from ge ng sick. So, step #1 is to get in your weekly exercise! This could be as simple as taking a 20-minute walk, playing golf, or bicycling a few mes a week. Get out there and get ac ve! Eating Right Maintaining a healthy diet helps keep the immune system balanced and ready to fight against infec ons and viruses. Since your immune system requires a healthy balance of real foods, these nutrients should be a top priority for your everyday ea ng pa ern. This is step #2: make healthier choices with the foods you eat. Protein Protein is the building block of immune cells. A diet lacking in protein can seriously put a damper on your immune By Kyo-Life Easy Steps to Building Your

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