5 Things That Weaken Your Immune System And How To Avoid Them

Having a strong immune system is super important for staying healthy but you can’t keep it strong if your daily habits are weakening it.

Let’s take a look at the top five things that weaken your immune system so you’re better prepared to avoid them!

#1 Stress

In today’s hectic world it’s nearly impossible not to feel some sort of stress.

And while stress isn’t ideal, it’s also not entirely a bad thing.

Stress hormones temporarily suppress your immune system to give you the “fight-or-flight” response when immediate danger is present.

They also help push you to do better when preparing for an exam or work presentation.

The problem is we usually stay stressed for far too long, allowing ourselves to stay in situations where we remain exposed to new stress.

This weakens your immune system and makes your body get used to the stress hormones, inhibiting them from doing a good job when they need to.

#2 A Bad Diet And Lack Of Vitamins

Processed foods, while sometimes delicious, ultimately come with consequences.

A well-balanced diet is essential in avoiding nutritional deficiencies and getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy.

One study found being malnourished is the biggest reason for weaker immune systems around the world.

And while supplements like multivitamin pills might play a role in filling nutritional gaps, some studies say they might not have any real benefit.

It’s best to play it safe by seeking out healthy food sources for all your nutritional needs.

#3 Lack Of Exercise (Or Too Much)

When it comes to working out, a lot of people have tendencies for extremes.

Either we don’t get enough exercise or we overdo it.

Both aren’t helping your immune system.

A lack of exercise can lead to conditions like obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

It also leads to a compromised immune system that becomes weak against things like bacteria and viruses.

On the flip side, going overboard and getting too much exercise might make your body think it’s in fight-or-flight mode, thereby releases stress hormones that suppress your immune system.

Extreme workouts also don’t give your body enough time to recover.

#4 Alcohol

Have you ever heard a glass of red wine a day keeps the doctor away?

Well, it’s actually not true. The studies that claim red wine is good for your heart aren’t conclusive.

One glass of wine a day is still the recommended maximum for women (two glasses for men).

You should be wary of indulging often because alcohol weakens your immune system and exposes you to a lot of nasty health problems.

While negative consequences obviously come with heavy drinking, regular daily drinking is just as bad in the long-term!

This is especially true if you already have a weaker immune system.

#5 Smoking

Most people know smoking comes with a slew of health-related issues but many overlook how smoking can weaken your immune system.

First, it stops your body from making enough immune system cells, like white blood cells and cytokines.

And all the chemicals in cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco stop those same cells from working properly.

Second, even second-hand smoke (which is actually worse than first-hand smoke) makes things like infections and autoimmune diseases worse.

Still, a lot of smokers feel that cigarettes helps reduce their stress levels. But this is simply not true, as experts have found it actually makes you more stressed.

Smokers likely think it helps with the stress because of the psychological benefits and perhaps the slower breathing pattern while inhaling and exhaling smoke.

Make Changes And Stay Healthy

Changing some of the things you’re doing to weaken your immune system can be tough but it’s worth the effort in the long run.

With a strong will and a good support system, shifting your daily habits is possible.

For more fact-based tips on staying healthy, check out our article on 7 simple ways to boost your immune system.

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