People of all ages in the country are falling sick more frequently than before. Ironically, the incidences of non-communicable diseases are very much on the rise and so is the cost of medical expenses. The perennial shortage of doctors and nurses is still a cause of concern, notwithstanding opening of more medical colleges in the country.
Overall health and wellness of citizens are the real challenges, equally before the government and society. How to address this crucial issue within the existing constraints and also without incurring extra public expenditure is a big predicament? Let us discuss here at least one sure shot way in this regard through time tested motivation and awareness route.
The famous American physician, author and professional speaker Michael Greger says, "Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that weaken the body’s immune system, making it more susceptible to disease and handicapping its ability to destroy cancer cells."
Another expert Kris Carr says, "If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system…"
Although health and medical experts are still busy in finding out the direct link between our lifestyle, dietary habits, genetic and psychological factors etc. and immune system yet everyone agrees on a point that all these factors have reasonable impact on our overall health and medical condition.
But what this immune system is all about?
In plain and simple words, our immune system denotes the status of body’s defence mechanism for fighting against micro-organisms that cause variety of diseases. The stronger the immune system, the lesser is the chance of falling sick. It being so, it is desirable to know the ways and means to improve our immune system to stay healthy and medically fit.
As discussed, it is a system of body’s defence and hence depends on a number of factors as indicated by many health experts.
The list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for maintaining a strong immune system is pretty long. Nevertheless, the following five simple and doable prescriptions, if practised sincerely can go a long way in strengthening the immune system to a reasonable extent:
1. Remain Oxygenated and Hydrated: Oxygen is our life line which we breathe every second. Nature gives us oxygen free of cost. We can have this life sustaining gas in adequate quantity despite several challenges of modern living, if we can save our forest and also plant trees in good numbers all around. Moreover, if we inculcate the habit of breathing deep to inhale more of oxygen and exhale more of carbon dioxide, we can keep our body amply functional and healthy.
It is rightly said that water is equally needed as our body contains more than 60% water. Remaining always hydrated is therefore very desirable for multiple reasons.
To say in fewer words, our health and so our immune system is very much dependent on the quantity and quality of oxygen we breathe and water we drink daily.
2. Practice Healthy Eating: Healthy eating means taking a balanced diet on daily basis. In other words, a balanced diet or a good diet means consuming eatables from different food groups in right quantities, because one single food group cannot provide everything an average healthy person needs. Interestingly, even factors like how you eat your food can influence how many calories get into your system, which is very important in any case. Health experts are also of the opinion that the better we chew our food, the more calories our body retains.
Saying a big no to junk and processed food items is also very necessary. In nutshell, healthy eating should be our way of life in order to keep our immune system strong.
3. Physical Exercise: Health experts recommend physical exercise of 20-30 minutes a day for minimum 4-5 days in a week for better blood circulation, activation of cells, flexibility of muscles, and secretion of feel good and feel happy hormones. All these cumulatively contribute towards improving immune system well.
4. Sleep Well: Health and medical professionals assert the fact that adults who can sleep well for 7-8 hours every night have better mental as well as physical health which indicates their stronger immune system as much of our body's regeneration processes take place during these hours of sleep.
5. Be Positive: As you sow, so will you reap- goes the old saying. Thinking and acting positive in any situation will finally bring you positive results. It has definite positive impact on your thought process as well as overall metabolic condition. To say, it is always better to shun negativity, increase positivity and in the process strengthen your mental wellness and also the immune system. Amy Morin says, ‘Positive thinking is a valuable tool that can help you overcome obstacles, deal with pain, and reach new goals.’
Brief Introduction of Milan Sinha: Worked in senior positions in financial sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. A post graduate in Chemistry from Patna University and also a graduate with Economics.