Keep your immune system in top shape with these tips

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Commit to Quit
Smokers have high levels of c-reactive protein and white blood cells, which indicate heightened inflammation and a potentially hampered immune response. The good news is that when smokers quit, their immune activity often begins to improve within 30 days.

Create a plan to quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke to keep your defenses working without interruption.

Turn on Workout Tunes
Music and dance are especially beneficial components of an exercise routine. Scientists have discovered that exercising to rhythmic sounds boosts antibody levels while reducing stress hormone levels, which can weaken the immune system.

Take Care of Your Smile
Brush and floss every morning and night, and make regular appointments with a dentist for a check-up. Persistent infections in the gums or teeth increase the body’s inflammation levels, leading not only to decreased immunity but a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Avoid Inflammatory Foods
Foods that contain arachidonic acid can provoke an immune response and contribute to unnecessary inflammation, so limit or avoid sources like meat and egg yolks; hydrogenated or trans fats in processed foods; sugary foods and refined grains (white bread, rice, and cereal).

Practice Relaxation
Deep and relaxed breathing can pacify your immune system and decrease inflammation by reducing the levels of stress hormones in your body, so consider making focused breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or tai chi part of each day.

Eat Several Small Meals
Your body knows that every bite of food could introduce potential toxins, so the immune system kicks in as you digest. Bigger meals mean more time spent on high alert, so try several mini ones throughout the day instead of three squares.

Form Emotional Bonds
When we feel close to a person or a pet, the amount of time we spend being anxious, angry or depressed—all emotions that tax the immune system, thanks to a surge in the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline—is drastically diminished. A strong connection to a place, hobby or a spiritual practice can have similar effects.

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