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Boosting your immune system

Everyone is constantly exposed to bacteria and viruses, in the workplace, on public transit, even while shopping at the supermarket. By merely tweaking some important lifestyle and diet choices, you can fortify your immune system to defend against everything from the common cold or flu to cancer, not just over the winter, but for a lifetime.

The following are some tips to help ensure a healthy start to 2017:

  1. EXERCISE. Simply going for a brisk 20-minute walk and increasing your heart rate three times a week, can activate your immune system and keep it in tip-top shape.
  2. EAT RIGHT, EAT BRIGHT. Some of the foods that are most powerful in strengthening our immune system are also the brightest: think berries, citrus fruits, kiwi, apples, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, grapes. And though not bright in colour, garlic is a superstar among immune-system boosters due to its antiviral and antibiotic properties.
  3. AVOID EXCESSIVE ALCOHOL AND SUGAR. Microbes thrive on sugar. So, treat yourself, just not so much that you treat the microscopic organisms that would do you harm! And though moderate amounts of alcohol can have some benefits, over consumption, i.e. more than a glass a day for women, or two glasses a day for men inhibits white blood cell function and compromises resistance to infections.
  4. SLEEP TIGHT, SLEEP RIGHT. The body often heals during sleep. Healing and our immune systems are impaired by inadequate sleep. Seven or more hours of sleep a night has also been definitively linked to increased resistance to infectious diseases.
  5. STRESS LESS. Stress in moderation is not necessarily a bad thing, and can even have some health benefits. Unrelenting stress, on the other hand, most definitely is a bad thing. So be kind to yourself, go easier on yourself.
  6. HAVE A GOOD FRIEND LIFE AND A GOOD LOVE LIFE. Research has shown that people who have strong networks of friends tend to stay healthier than people who do not. And there’s no question that being sexually active and healthy provides immune system benefits by producing higher levels of immune system proteins called immunoglobulin, and also by reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep.
  7. PRACTICE GOOD PUBLIC HYGIENE. Washing your hands several times a day, using hand sanitizers, and washing all of your food items can reduce your risk of getting sick significantly.

Call OTIP today at 1-800-267-6847 to learn more about life insurance and health benefit options.

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