5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

Protect yourself before, during and after work

5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Immune System

We all dread the colds that sneak up on us. It starts with overhearing the occasional cough or sneeze in the lunchroom, and suddenly the entire office seems to be sniffling. Have no fear! These immune-boosting tips can help prevent whatever cold or flu virus is lurking.

Before work

Do a moderate amount of exercise

That’s right—not too much and not too little. While many of us have heard that exercise can help boost the immune system, overdoing it—aka working out to the point of exhaustion—can stress out the immune system, doing more harm than good. It’s all about finding a happy medium. Make that morning workout count, but not so much that you’re struggling to climb the stairs when you get to work!

During work

Laugh, think positive and don’t be stressed

Looks like being a hypochondriac isn’t the key to staying healthy. In fact, the key may be to relax a bit. Laughing, staying positive and avoiding stress have all been shown to boost the immune system. So send out that funny meme, find the positive in that project and laugh it up!

Eat plenty of antioxidants

Generally, foods that are naturally brightly colored (no, not fluorescent-colored candy or soft drinks) are higher in disease-fighting antioxidants, and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and boost immunity. That means berries, green tea, leafy greens and much more. Shop the produce aisles and fill your workday lunches with brightly colored fruits and veggies.

Mind germ-covered surfaces

Here’s an immune-boosting tip that will surprise no one: wash your hands (often and properly!) and be cautious about germy surfaces like computers, pens, door handles and phones.

After work

Get enough sleep

While you don’t have to hibernate to escape cold and flu season, getting enough sleep reduces stress, elevates your mood and gives your immune system the resources to fight off disease. Aim for seven to eight hours a night. Sleeping fewer than seven hours makes you three times more likely to get a cold. And don’t count on the flu shot to make up for too many late nights; sleep deprivation can cut the effectiveness of the flu vaccine by 50 percent.