Having a strong immune system is what helps you avoid getting sick. Building a strong immune system is one of the most vital aspects of living an abundant life free of illness and disease. Bacteria and viruses are everywhere — thankfully, a healthy body with a strong immune system fights off these illnesses.

Four Ways to Strengthen your Immune System

So, what can you and your family do to stay well this year? It’s simple: strengthen your immune system from the inside out. Here are 4 ways to do it:

  1. Avoid sugar.

Nancy Appleton, author of the book Lick The Sugar Habit gives 76 ways sugar can affect your health according to 111 studies. Here are a few:

  • Sugar suppresses your immune system and impairs your defenses against infectious diseases.
  • Sugar can contribute to autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, and MS.
  • Sugar contributes to irregular and uncomfortable bowel movements.
  • Sugar can contribute to hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
  1. If your immune defenses get triggered, don’t rely on cold medications.

When you get sick, the fever, cough, and runny nose are there for a reason — to help you fight and eliminate the illness. If you always rely on cold medications, you may be affecting your immune system’s strength. A study at the University of Maryland showed that people who break their fever when they get a cold or the flu stay sick 3.5 days longer than people who let the fever run its course. [2]

3. Learn how to destress naturally.

Anxiety and stress can contribute to a weaker immune system. When you are stressed or anxious, find an activity that will calm your nerves like yoga, reading, or meditating. When doing activities that relax you, you’ll be able to believe in yourself to change your negative thoughts into positive ones.

4. Regular exercise is a proven immune system booster.

Exercise helps to reduce stress, boost the circulation of white blood cells, and increase oxygen-carrying capacity. Exercising at a high intensity for 12 minutes a day can help you save time as well as burn fat and build lean muscle and allow your body to have the energy it needs to function at a high level. Getting proper sleep every night and allowing your body to heal is one of the most important aspects of building a strong immune system. When sleep deprived, your body doesn’t have enough time to heal.