Prepare for fall and boost immune system function with healthy habits. It is the first line of defense against illness and infection. As the weather gets cooler, those cold and flu bugs start to spread. Boost your health with these tips to keep your immune system equipped to protect you from getting sick.

Here are some healthy habits to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

1 Drink Lots of Water

Water plays many essential roles in your body, including supporting your immune system. Fluids in your circulatory system are made up of water and carry important infection-fighting immune cells around your body. Dehydration slows down the movement of healthy cells, making it harder for your immune system to do its job to protect you. Also, your body constantly loses water every time you go to the bathroom and even when you breathe. Be sure to keep replenishing yourself with water throughout the day.


2 Stick to a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Boost Immune function and refresh yourself with a regular sleep routine. Make sure your room is free from distractions and lights that can interfere with sleep. During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Specific cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation or when you’re under stress. Getting good sleep helps increase protective cytokines and infection-fighting antibodies. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep to support your immune health and performance.


3 Stress Reduction Techniques

Short periods of stress can help you get things done and make quick decisions when you need to move fast. However, if your stress is carried over for days and months at a time, then chances are it is making you sick. Stress hormones will trigger inflammation in the body, and inflammation weakens the immune system. During times of uncertainty, stress is a challenge, but there are steps you can take to reduce your stress and boost immune system performance. Be mindful of your thoughts and self-talk, and adopt relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga. Alongside mindfulness practices, try a daily serving of CBD and other natural supplements that help calm stress.


4 Drink Apple Cider Vinegar

Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into a shot of water for a to boost immune health. Take it in the morning or before a meal. You can do this daily to support a healthy gut and happy immune system. Apple cider vinegar ​​has beneficial bacteria and prebiotics and contains a high amount of vitamin C. It is antibacterial in nature and helps fight off the pathogens wreaking havoc in the body. Incorporate it into your wellness routine to boost your health.


5 Eat Nutrient-Rich Foods

A healthy diet provides many of the vitamins and minerals the body needs, including zinc and vitamin D, which help the immune system work well. Nutrient foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables provide an array of beneficial polyphenols and antioxidants that support a well-functioning immune system. Eat in color — green, orange, yellow, and purple. Avoid highly processed and fatty foods, which can cause insulin spikes and inflammation that wreak havoc on your immune system, hampering its ability to target pathogens and viruses. 


6 Express Love and Gratitude

One thing about the immune system is its response to emotion. The mind-body connection is very responsive to good feelings, especially love and gratitude. Studies found that being in love and expressing romantic feelings changes gene expression and positively affects your immune system. Share more love and romance with your partner, and remember to keep gratitude in focus. Keeping a positive mindset, feeling love, and sharing gratitude builds healthy connections and strengthens your overall health.


7 Hygiene and Cleanliness 

Keep the germs away with good hygiene practices. Wash your hands often in between activities, after using public spaces, before and after you eat, and using the bathroom. We all understand the importance of hand washing, yet many people forget to do it. Take a travel hand sanitizer with you when you are out and about. Remember to wash produce before eating or using it in recipes. Bacteria spreads quickly through foods and can sneak up on us, causing sickness. Clean utensils and dishes well and sanitize countertops and work spaces daily to reduce the spread of germs.


8 Exercise for Wellness

Every day find time to get in some exercise. It can be a simple yoga session, a walk around the block while you are on the phone, or maybe you prefer to hit the gym for a good sweat. Activities that get your heart pumping are best, but any exercise you enjoy is good. Movement has many health benefits, like reducing cortisol and boosting circulation, making it easier for your immune system to perform and protect you. Also, when you are recovering from feeling sick, light movement and gentle exercise are helpful to restore health.