Exercise of moderate to hard intensity profoundly affects both the number and function of immune cells (such as lymphocytes, neutrophils, and NK (natural killer) cells in such a way that immunity actually increases both during and immediately post-exercise.
3. Eat nutritious food
The human body has evolved to be able to deal with most infections through a combination of innate and acquired immunity. Needless to say, the immune system is complex and there’s virtually no part of the body that doesn’t chip in – for instance, the skin, tear film, lining of the nose, cells in the blood, lymph nodes and organs like the spleen all play a major role. For these things to work and work properly, they require energy and various nutrients so eating a good nutritious diet is key.
We've created a FREE downloadable 7-day meal plan for you here to help support a healthy immune system.
4. Try fasting (and lose weight while you’re at it)
If this seems to you to be the opposite of point 3, read on! Recent research has suggested that fasting, be it for a prolonged period (say 1 – 7 days) or in the form of time-restricted eating (e.g. 16 hours fasting and 8 hours during which to eat each day) leads to reduced inflammation, and improved immune function. Combining eating good food with periodic or intermittent fasting is an excellent way to promote both immunity and longevity.
5. Mental health awareness
If you have underlying mental health issues, such as anxiety or depression, seek help now. There is some evidence, albeit poorly understood, that mental health issues such as depression are linked with immune function through a serotonergic mechanism. Anecdotally, at least, it appears to me as a GP that those suffering from depression or anxiety are predisposed to a variety of health issues.