Toronto / By Nathalie Niddam

Your body is your very own superhero - overcoming and defeating bugs you come in contact with every single day. 

So why is it that we get sick? Why do some people seem to catch every bug within a 10 mile radius and others appear immune? The answer to this question is both complicated and simple.

Obviously, there can be many reasons for a weakened immune system, but for most healthy people if you pay attention to the following list of “do’s” you should be in pretty good shape:

1. Do get your beauty sleep: The general guideline for most people is 7-8 hours a night but we all know people who seem to defy this rule (people who meditate regularly for example) so the rule of thumb is if you wake up refreshed in the morning you are probably on the right track.

2. Keep your added sugar intake to a minimum: And yes, this includes booze. Refined and excess sugar seems to have a depressive effect on your immunity so less is always more in this department.

3. Wash your hands regularly: Unless you work in a hospital or other exceptionally challenging environment, I am not a huge fan of antibacterial hand washes. Just washing well with soap and water will do just as good a job without the nasty side effects of the antibacterials.

4. Get fresh air: Even if it’s cold, getting outside is good for you because it aids in your ability to manage stress, which ultimately can support your immunity.

5. Manage your stress: Easier said than done, I know, but whether you practice gratitude, mindfulness, meditation, heart rate variability or simply deep breathing exercises - finding a method that resonates with you on managing your stress can do wonders for your immunity and happiness!

6. Get exercise, but not too much: In other words stick to your gym routines, but make sure that you allow your body to recover and recharge in between workouts. As good as exercise is for your immunity, overtraining will have the opposite effect. As a matter of fact one of the signs of overtraining is an athlete who is constantly sick.                      

These are just a few of things you can do to support your immune system - keep your ears open for a soon to come podcast where I'll have an extended discussion on improving your immunity.