4 Healthy Tips to Boost Your Immune System

A weak immune system leaves us susceptible to colds, flu viruses, and other more serious illnesses. Luckily, several natural substances exist to help strengthen and support immunity.

More: How to Keep Your Immune System Strong

One caveat—balance is required. You may read or hear about a food or habit that boosts the immune system, but go overboard with your response.

Overdosing on anything, even if it is natural, throws the body-mind out of balance. Here are a couple of my favorite natural immune boosters, and how to get the right amount of them.

Exercise to Boost Your Immune System

Exercise has been shown to protect us from the cold and flu by boosting the immune system. Recent studies suggest that there are actual physiological changes in the immune system in response to exercise.

More: An Athlete's Guide to the Immune System

During moderate exercise, immune cells circulate through the body more quickly enabling them to better kill viruses and bacteria.

After exercise ends, the immune system response seems to return to normal after a few hours. However, consistent moderate exercise keeps the immune response working longer.

There is a caveat. Evidence suggests that too much intense exercise can have the opposite effect and reduce the immune response.

Research shows that more than 90 minutes of high intensity endurance exercise a day can leave individuals susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours. Because too much intense exercise can decrease in immune response, balance is required.

More: Why Too Much Running May Be Bad for Your Health

Zinc to Support Your Immune System

A student recently told me that when she feels a cold or flu coming on, she loads up on zinc. She's got the right idea.

Zinc is a mineral that strengthens and supports immunity, helps heal wounds, and supports normal growth.

More: Find Out How Zinc and Other Nutrients Can Also Boost Energy

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