The cooler temperatures and crisp Fall air are here, but along with it usually comes a season prone to more illness. Between back-to-school, cooler temperatures, and more time spent indoors, germs spread much quicker this time of year. Use these tried-and-true tips to keep your immune system strong all year long.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Incorporate an assortment of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. The different colors in these foods correspond with various necessary nutrients. When you vary the colors of your fruits and veggies, you know you’re getting assorted vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients can help keep your immune system working strong.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Sleep is imperative for our immune system because it allows our body to produce antibodies and natural killer cells that help ward off viruses and infections (UCI Health)[1]. Whenever we don’t get adequate rest, it negatively affects the function of our immune system. Establish a nighttime routine to prepare your mind and body for sleep. This routine can include things like reading, listening to relaxing music, and light stretching. Limit screen time at least thirty minutes before bedtime to help with falling asleep and staying asleep.

Stay Active

Regular exercise promotes stress management, better sleep, and disease prevention! It can also directly benefit the immune system by improving circulation, which also improves the circulation of immune cells throughout the body (Healthline)[2]. Start with activities you enjoy or pair your exercise with something intriguing like a podcast, television show, or music. If you’re an avid exerciser, allow your body the proper rest between higher-intensity sessions.

Manage Stress

When our body is stressed, it produces a hormone called cortisol. Whenever stressful situations persist without good management, higher cortisol levels can impact immune function by increasing inflammation. Choose relaxing activities like yoga, walking, or other favorite hobbies for a mind break in your day. If stress is piling on, but you’re short on time, try a quick mindful activity like deep breathing or guided meditation.

Wash Your Hands

Good hygiene practices are one of the best ways to ward off illnesses. Wash your hands for at least twenty seconds with soap and water throughout the day. Keep your hands clean before eating or touching your face.

Talk with Your Doctor

Meet with your doctor and discuss more ways to improve your immune system. Conversations can include managing chronic conditions, supplementing for deficiencies, and any necessary vaccinations. Working with your doctor can help you find the best, personalized approach for staying healthy this season and every season.

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