3 Easy Habits You Can Start Today That Help Protect Your Immunity

Mature man cleans and disinfects his smart phone in the office, using disposable wipes.

credit: iStockphoto

While we all have a few tried and true practices that help us protect against a cold in the winter months, the reality is that your immune system needs attention all year around. 

Here are 3 immune-protecting best practices and precautions you can work into your everyday life, as soon as today.

3 Easy Habits You Can Start Today That Help Protect Your Immunity 

1. Wash your hands as soon as you return home.

Washing your hands promotes a healthy immune system because you’re actively working to prevent germs from getting into your body. We touch openings on our faces – eyes, nose, mouth – many times per day, so what we do with our hands significantly impacts our immunity. 

Common contaminated surfaces, in addition to doorknobs and handrails, include:

  • Credit card machines at stores
  • ATM buttons
  • Your phone and keys
  • Computer keyboards
  • Menus at restaurants (this applies even if you’re doing just take out)

Therefore, hand washing after touching contaminated surfaces may be the most powerful way to limit exposure. It’s also pretty easy to incorporate.

Try picking one or two activities you do daily – such as returning home after being outside – and commit to washing your hands before and/or after.

Pro tip: While using hand sanitizer is not a substitute for washing your hands, it can be useful in situations where hand washing is not an option.

2. Clean all your electronic devices every evening.

Your phone, laptop, remote controls, tablet, cameras, e-reader, gaming consoles, headphones, and any other electronic devices you use regularly will come in contact with other contaminated surfaces such as countertops.

Get in the habit of cleaning your devices – front and back – with an alcohol-based wipe. 

Pro tip: Try to wash your hands after using your phone, especially if you’re going to eat a meal or snack.

3. Power down devices one hour before bedtime

Creating a sleep routine is part of making a concerted effort to use rest as a proactive action to protect your immunity. 

Why is sleep so important? Because while one sleepless night won’t hurt, chronic sleep deprivation can take a toll on the body. In addition to fatigue, stress, irritability, cognitive impairment, imbalanced mood, memory loss, there is also connection to lowered immunity, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, blue light emitted by devices affects the body’s circadian rhythm, our natural wake and sleep cycle. “Too much blue light exposure late at night from your phone, tablet or computer can make it harder to get to sleep.” In this 2015 study, participants reading a light-emitting eBook took longer to fall asleep and had reduced evening sleepiness, reduced melatonin secretion, later timing of their circadian clock, and reduced next-morning alertness

Try creating a step-by-step “get ready for bed” routine for yourself that fits your schedule and needs, and then follow it as consistently as you can. Include all the steps you want – how you get ready for bed, when you adjust the lights, and even what time you limit your phone/laptop/TV/social media use.

Pro Tip: If you’re tired all the time or suffering from poor quality sleep, check out 4 reasons that could explain why. 

Bonus Habit:  Have Water Drinking Goals – and then hit them!

Water consumption is an important part of overall health – your body depends on it. It’s instrumental in healthy organ function, naturally improves digestion to help break down foods, and softens stools, which helps prevent constipation. 

Pro Tip: Invest in a reusable water bottle (BPA-free plastic or glass). You can fill up after you get through security, and then you can take it with you wherever you go – at coffee shops, restaurants, when at your relatives’ house.

It may take a moment to pick up the habit, but what you’re doing is creating the opportunity to drink more water. If you don’t create it, it doesn’t exist. Read here for more tips and tricks to help you drink more water.

How WellnessFX Can Help

Regular blood screening is crucial for understanding your hormones, tracking progress, and measuring your associated risk, to hopefully stop a problem before it becomes a problem.

WellnessFX is now offering a custom panel designed with your immunity in mind. This limited-time diagnostic package tests markers and panels such as:

  • CBC (Complete Blood Count), including white blood cell count and distribution of immune cells
  • hs-CRP, a marker of inflammation (which impairs the immune system)
  • Vitamin D, a core regulator of the immune system that many of us are deficient in
  • Chemistry panel (CMP), including major organ function, blood sugar, and electrolytes associated with hydration
  • Your Blood Type

Current pricing is $124 and it’s accessible for purchase through this link: 

Purchase Immunity Panel

Get the data you need in order to make educated, informed choices that fit your body’s specific and unique needs, from nutrition and lifestyle changes to hormone and risk monitoring.

The posts on this blog are for information only, and are not intended to substitute for a doctor-patient or other healthcare professional-patient relationship nor do they constitute medical or healthcare advice of any kind. Any information in these posts should not be acted upon without consideration of primary source material and professional input from one's own healthcare professionals.