Quick and Effective Methods to Boost Your Immune System

Everyone has an immune system. Varying factors, however, can effect how effective it is at fighting off sickness. If you want to boost your immune system, read on for some helpful, quick and effective methods.

 

Your Immune System is a Bad-A**

Your immune system is extremely complex and multifaceted. It’s not as if it’s just one organ that has just one function. It’s an entire system designed to prevent invasion of germs and then fight them if they get in.

In order for it to function well, your immune system needs to be strong and balanced. Think of it like the superhero of your body. It can protect and destroy enemies when it’s boosted. But, like Kryptonite is to Superman, so are germs and diseases to a body with a weak immune system.

 

Quick and Effective Methods to the Rescue!

Because your immune system is an intricate function, it makes sense that achieving balance and harmony within the body are important. If you are stressed out, smoking cigarettes, eating junk, and never exercise, chances are your health is imbalanced; thus, your immune system is probably weakened.

Here are some methods to boost your immune system:

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol intake to one drink per day or less
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Increase amount of sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat nutritiously
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Minimize stress
  • Wash your hands with soap often

Basically, leading a healthy lifestyle will be your most effective route to a well-functioning immune system. It sounds pretty simple. Achieving it might seem too difficult—but it doesn’t have to be. One small change at a time, and in no time, you’ll be feeling better and healthier than ever.

 

How to Put Your Methods into Effect

 

  • Quit smoking. Addiction to nicotine is a real thing. Also, along with smoking comes associated behaviors. The only way to quit is to make the decision and commit to it. You can taper off, go cold turkey, join a support group, use replacement therapy, or other workable approaches. Once you stop, your body will thank you and your immune system will be able to fight harder for your health.

 

  • Reduce sugar intake. Too much sugar and the body cannot process it properly. It can spill in to the bloodstream creating all kinds of problems with insulin and cholesterol levels, imbalance in the gut microbiome, and general inflammation. Your immune system thrives on balance, so reducing sugar can help. This is a quick fix.

 

  • Sleep enough. Today’s hectic lifestyles don’t often allow for the rest we truly need. The National Institutes of Health recommends 7 or more hours of sleep per night for adults 18 and over. It’s precisely when we’re not getting enough rest that our immune system lowers its guard and we wind up getting sick. Schedule your sleep the way you would any other essential activity.

 

  • Eat well. Eating well means appropriate portions and ingesting fresh, unprocessed, healthy foods. Specific vitamins known to boost the immune system are zinc, iron, folic acid, A, B6, and C, amongst others. Specific foods mentioned in health circles are bone broth, Japanese mushrooms, avocados, and most all fruits and vegetables. Feed yourself well and your immune system will repay you with wellness.

 

  • Exercise daily. There have been studies where athletes have taxed their immune systems from overexertion. This is generally not a worry for most of us. Nonetheless, it’s important that we move our bodies daily. Try and use every opportunity in the day to be active somehow. This could include taking the stairs, parking farther from the building, going for a walk at lunch, or indulging in more romance. Getting exercise will also reduce stress; both will help boost your immune system.

 

Staying healthy is more important than ever. Be mindful of how you go through your day. Within no time you’ll be able to incorporate some of these quick and effective methods and get your immune system boosted and ready to take the bad guys down. Check out other health tips for you and your family on GetThrive!

Sources:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/boost-your-immunity-naturally?gallery=true&page=15

https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/immune-system-function#2

https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/about_sleep/how_much_sleep.html

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Guide to Maximizing Your Willpower

Feeling slightly determined, but don’t have enough willpower to get the job done? Every commitment we make requires motivation and follow-through if we expect to be successful. Maximizing your willpower is possible, and the following guide can help you achieve your goals.

 

Where There’s a Willpower, There’s a Way!

The American Psychological Association describes willpower as the ability to resist short-term temptations in order to meet long-term goals. It’s basically, “the psychological science of self-control.” So, if you can keep yourself from giving in to something that distracts you and stay focused on the big prize, you’ll be set!

 

How Can I Maximize My Willpower?

In order to meet your goals, you need to get motivated to take action. Motivation is compelled by emotions. You can have thoughts about what you want to do, but in order to get jazzed up, you really have to feel it.

Find your motivation and you’ll find the core of your willpower. Most often “reward” is the most powerful motivator. You can feel rewarded from:

 

  • losing weight
  • quitting smoking
  • buying something new
  • getting a promotion

 

along with a plethora of other positive goals.

Willpower is a muscle. You need to practice and work it. Picture your goal and visualize your ultimate aim. Learn to ignore temptation and distraction. What will your reward be?

Keep in mind, the reward for exercising self-control has to be more important to you than indulging in the immediate behavior.

 

Get Ahead with The Ultimate Guide

Is your lack of willpower affecting your productivity? Do you feel that if you could maximize your willpower that you would be more successful—in all areas? Then check out the following tips:

 

  1. Research suggests that willpower can be strengthened with practice. If something tempts you (like a chocolate bar), practice not eating it. Next time the same scenario comes up, it will be easier for you to resist. You will have gained willpower strength.

 

  1. Exerting self-control regularly increases willpower strength. Try and exert self-control throughout your day, everyday. Without regular practice, your power decreases.

 

  1. Make your goals specific and clear. For example, “I want to give up drinking alcoholic beverages for one month,” or “I want to be promoted to manager within a year,” or “I’d like to buy a new SUV in two years.”

 

  1. Make a list of what motivates you. Do you enjoy eating? Then, if you know you are allowed a dessert if you workout, you are more apt to go to the gym that day. Do you want to earn more money? Then, you may work extra hard at impressing your boss and colleagues. Figure out what you want and then hopefully you will be rewarded with it after your efforts of self-control and willpower.

 

  1. Make a list of temptations and distractions. Identify your weaknesses. If you love social media but have a work deadline, turn off your phone. If you love iced-flavored coffee drinks but you’re trying to shed some pounds, make coffee at home. Figure out your temptations and be proactive in avoiding them.

 

  1. Constantly remind yourself of the rewards if you stick to your plan. Practice an “if” and “then” philosophy—implement a behavior with intention. For example, you may say yourself, “If I exercise daily, then I will increase my weight loss and muscle tone.” What is the “if” that you have to do to meet your goal?

 

  1. Find meaning in your motivator. When you have a “purpose”, you’re more likely to take action. People want to feel as if their behavior and accomplishments have value. Will your actions “make a difference”?

 

  1. Eat well, sleep well, and exercise. These three are essential to optimum mental health. And after all, willpower requires brainpower.

 

Practice resisting desires that steer you off the path towards your ultimate goal. Congratulate and reward yourself when you succeed in implementing self-control. Before you know it, your willpower will strengthen and you’ll be able to achieve the maximum!

 

Sources:

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-willpower-20151107-story.html

https://getthrive.com/tag/motivation/

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/willpower.aspx

Dan Ariely—Ted Talks

http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/willpower-workouts-productivity

 

 

 

Migraines Linked to Heart Attack and Stroke

A recent study links women with migraines to heart attack or stroke. In fact, they are twice as likely to suffer a cardiovascular event.

My Aching Head!

In the past, a specific type of migraine headache has been linked to stroke. It’s called a “migraine with aura”, which affects one in four male or female migraine sufferers. These patients can be affected by bright light, experience vision blurriness or even distorted vision.

The results of a new preliminary study were recently presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2016. For three years, 917 women were evaluated for risk of heart disease. After a six-year follow-up, those who had suffered migraines had a 225% increased risk in a future cardiovascular event.

Study Specifics

This particular study was conducted with just female participants. Their average age was 58, and over 75% were Caucasian. One of the lead researchers, Dr. Rambarat, claimed that after factoring other risk factors, the women who had migraines were twice as likely to have cardiac problems.

Additionally, after the six-year follow-up, the increased risk of stroke turned out to be much greater than having a heart attack.

Some of the “other” risk factors were: age, BMI, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, and family history of heart disease. The study doesn’t claim that migraines cause strokes. However, the connection between the two shouldn’t be ignored.

What to Do With This Information?

The data from the study can inform women with migraines and their physicians. Perhaps preventative heart disease measures should be considered. Rambarat suggests that maybe now migraines need to be regarded as a possible risk factor for future cardiovascular event.

Whether you suffer from migraines or not, it’s always a wise move to make heart-healthy choices. Even if you’re a young woman, it’s never too early to practice cardiovascular-disease prevention. Here are some suggestions:

-quit smoking; if you don’t smoke, please don’t start

-manage stress; practice what relaxes you (reading, swimming, dancing, yoga, cooking, etc.)

-eat lots of vegetables and fruits; avoid foods that lend to high cholesterol

-get rest; allow yourself eight hours per night

-avoid estrogen-based birth-control pills

Finding out what triggers your headaches is a great way to try and avoid getting them, if possible. Some possible triggers are: stress, neck or back injury, allergy (especially to MSG), and sugar substitutes. Check out Thrive for more updates on health and taking care of yourself and your family.

 

Men, Women, Menopause, and Memory

As we age, both men and women remark and woe about memory loss. Menopause has long been known as one culprit towards the demise of women’s memories. New research, however, notes that middle-age women still remember more than their male peers.

Menopause Memory Research

Up to 75 percent of people (men and women) over the age of 50 complain of memory loss. Women, especially when going through menopause, experience brain fog, fading memory, and difficulty with recall. A new study out of Harvard Medical School reports that as estrogen levels drop, the ability to recollect also fades.

The research, led by Professor Jill Goldstein, included over 200 men and women. Their age range was between 45 and 55. Everyone in the study participated in memory and thinking tests, which observed word processing, verbal intelligence, and executive function.

The results showed that women who had not gone through menopause had better memory. The women who had lower estrogen levels (due to menopause) had lower learning rates for new information and memory recall.

Even with that somewhat depressing news for menopausal women, it turned out worse for men. Women in the study may have reported being more forgetful, but as far as the results of memory tests—women outperformed the men!

Uplifting Info

In regards to this particular study, the researchers claim that women’s memory storage and consolidation weren’t affected by menopause. That’s a mind-full of good news.

Another study that was conducted in 2009 out of the University of California, Los Angeles showed promising menopause/memory results, too. That research was based on studying over 2,000 women over a four-year period. The researchers found that learning ability and memory largely returned after menopause was complete.

However, in 2009, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, found that in the more than 2,000 women studied over four years, memory and learning ability tended to return after menopause was complete.

Growing New Brain Cells

Believe it or not, we can affect the health of our brain cells. New ones are constantly being produced, and by making certain life choices, you can boost your memory and create healthier cells.

1) Get a good night’s sleep—consistently. Aim for between seven and nine hours per night.

2) Get exercise. Anything that works up a sweat will do the trick. Studies show that cognitive function increases in those who stick to an exercise regimen.

3) Give up smoking.

4) Drink more water. Dehydration is a culprit known to cause brain-cell deterioration. Carry around a non-toxic decanter and refill throughout the day with fresh water.

5) Cut calories. Overeating lends to brain fog. Restricting calories by approximately 20 percent stimulates the growth of new brain cells.

6) Practice coping skills. Keep stress levels low whenever possible. Anxiety and panic raise cortisol levels, which in turn, can damage brain cells. A calm body breeds healthier cells all over.

7) Drink green tea. A substance in green tea generates new cells. The inclusion of green tea into our diet can improve memory and cognition.

Eating fresh, whole foods will help to keep you properly nourished. And as always, daily exercise, even if it’s a nice, brisk walk. It will do wonders for your body AND mind. For other tips on how to boost memory check this out!