have sex, drink beer, pat a dog
To get a flu shot, or to not get a flu shot – this is the pressing decision many Aussies are faced with right now. But regardless what decision you make, it’s helpful to know that you can actually double your immunity to prepare for this winter, all without spending a single dollar.
1. Go for a hike
Spending time in nature can give your immune system a boost, a review of studies by the University of Illinois in the US reveals. Being outdoors lets your body relax and focus on rebuilding your immunity.
2. Love yourself
Boosting your immune system is a well-known way to ward off illness, and now research in the journal Psychology Today reveals that elevating your self-esteem can also result in ‘emotional immunity’, which helps to combat stress and anxiety.
3. Listen to music
This raises your body’s level of antibodies that fight infection, Canadian research shows.
4. Embrace herbs & spices
Sip on ginger tea to lower inflammation, add garlic to soups to combat infections, and take the herb andrographis to reduce flu symptoms and prevent colds.
5. Notice sick people
Keeping track of Snotty Susan from accounts could be the reason you stay well this winter. A Canadian study discovered that when people clock the symptoms of infection in others, their immune system goes into overdrive.
6. Have sex
Those who have frequent sex, particularly women, have higher levels of T cells (which kill invading microbes) and an increased amount of infection-fighting antibodies, according to a study by Indiana University in the US.
7. Stroke your dog
US research shows that patting a pooch for as little as 18 minutes can boost levels of the germ fighting antibody immunoglobulin A.
8. Sip on a beer
Not only can moderate alcohol consumption keep your ticker happy, it could also reinforce your immune system.
A US study found that while heavy drinking is associated with a decline in immune function, having just a few could help you fight off infections and improve vaccine response.
9. Book a massage
A 45-minute Swedish massage can reduce your cortisol levels and boost your body’s supply of protective white blood cells, a US study shows.
10. Always wear socks
Cooler temperatures cause blood vessels in your nose to constrict, decreasing its ability to protect you from viruses. A study at Cardiff University in Wales found that those who chilled their feet with water were more likely to develop cold symptoms, so rug up!
For more on this topic, this is how you could save yourself $700 by getting the flu shot. Plus, the 5 products you should buy from the chemist as soon as you get a cold.
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