It takes more than a handful of vitamins to strengthen your immune system. Because it’s a system, it needs support from different areas of your lifestyle in order to be balanced and work efficiently.

Here are some key areas to focus on to make sure your supporting a healthy immune system. 

Exercise regularly

Hitting the gym and lifting weights does more than strengthen your muscles. The benefits of exercise include improving your cardiovascular health, lowering your blood pressure and will contribute to your overall health (therefore your immune system). Exercise also promotes good circulation, which allows your cells and substances of the immune system to move freely and do their job efficiently.

Extensive studies also demonstrate how regular exercise eases symptoms of depression and anxiety. The feel-good endorphins and chemicals released during physical activity enhance your sense of well-being. Being active has also been shown to help take your mind off worries, further reducing the effects of depression and anxiety, which will also help contribute to a healthy immune system. 

Keep your gut healthy

A large amount of the cells from your immune system are stored in your gut, so making sure their home is healthy helps to keep you healthy too. Here is a list of foods to add to your grocery list that can help give your immune system a helping hand to fight off germs.

If you're not getting adequate nutrient intake from your diet, considering adding supplements to your diet. Always consult your physician before starting any new supplements.

Manage stress levels

Managing stress can often seem easier said than done, but being mindful of your mental well-being has plenty of benefits. 

Studies show that being stressed suppresses your immune system from functioning properly, making you vulnerable to germs and disease.

Taking time to figure out what triggers your stress levels and what helps you unwind will allow you to seamlessly work these tactics into your daily life. Working out, walking in nature, yoga and meditation are all popular and effective ways to reduce stress.

Wash your hands

The Government of Canada says that hand washing (or using alcohol-based hand rub) is the most effective thing you can do to protect yourself against infectious diseases and the common cold.

Practicing good hand hygiene will not only help keep you healthy but will also help prevent the spread of germs to others. Hand to hand contact can spread mild conditions like the common cold, but also more severe diseases.

These can be spread through common areas like doorknobs, shopping cart handles or other shared areas. You can minimize the risk of getting infected and spreading germs by washing your hands often with soap, clean surfaces and shared objects, avoiding common hand towels and practicing good hygiene like sneezing and coughing into your elbow.