7 Bad Mistakes That Are Weakening Your Immune System
1. Consuming too much sugar
According to clinical nutritionistKristy Harvell, sugar competes with vitamin C for space in your immune system because the two are of a similar chemical structure. What exactly does that mean?
"The more sugar in your system, the less vitamin C can get into your white blood cells," she says. "Sugar does not help your immune system fight infection at all, resulting in a weakened defense from infections."
2. Not managing your stress
Don't stop yourself-care routinewhile you're stuck in quarantine. In fact, you might need it now more than ever. Providing comfort to your body and mind can help lower your stress levels, which is key to maintaining astrong immune system.
What is considered too much? For women, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),excessive drinking is categorizedas having four or more drinks during a single occasion or eight or more drinks per week. For men, those numbers change to five and 15, respectively.
5. Not drinking enough water
Drinking plenty of water every day has avariety of health benefits—reversely, not doing so can have an array of negative effects.Eduardo Dolhun, MD,practicing family physicianand creator of DripDrop, says that "dehydration has a devastating impact" on your immune system by making your body unable to flush out toxins as fast as it normally would.
6. Not getting enough exercise
Whether it's anat-home workoutor a long walk—following safe social distancing practices, of course—regular exercise is crucial to a healthy immune system. A 2012 study published in theAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine reported that over time, leading a sedentary lifestyleaffects your body's ability to fight infectionby impairing your immune system.
7. Or getting too much exercise
However, it's all about maintaining a healthy balance, because too much exercise can also harm your immune system. This is especially true if you're already sick, according to experts at WebMD: "When workouts get too strenuous, the number of infection-fighting white blood cells in your body can go down. At the same time, your stress hormone cortisol may go up, which mayinterfere with the ability of certain immune cellsto work right."