No matter where you live in the world, our global society is constantly on the move. Widespread travel for business and tourism inevitably puts travelers in the crosshairs of viruses and other pathogens, which are then carried across borders and oceans to infect populations worldwide. While anyone can develop serious viral symptoms, patients with strong immune systems generally suffer milder symptoms for abbreviated lengths of time, with significantly reduced risk of fatality.
You may not be able to dodge viruses completely, but you can optimize your immune system to fight them off and avoid extreme symptoms and death.
How Your Immune System Works
Your immune system is your body’s security system against invading pathogens. It is made up of billions of cells that circulate via your bloodstream to tissues and organs throughout your body, on high alert for foreign invaders that try to take up residence in your cells. White blood cells are the primary type of immune cells, in the form of either lymphocytes or phagocytes.
When you are stressed, fatigued or in generally poor health, your body’s ability to fight off pathogens is reduced. Elevated levels of cortisol impede the function of immune cells. A sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor nutrition leads to poor circulation, systemic inflammation, metabolic disease and declining health, all of which reduce your body’s ability to combat viral infections.
5 Things You Can Do Now to Protect Yourself from Viral Infections
Boosting your immune system is neither difficult nor expensive. In fact, the same measures that amplify your immunity will also increase your energy, enhance your cognitive function, reduce inflammation and other metabolic disorders and improve your overall quality of life.
Start strengthening your immune system today with these 5 simple measures:
Many people think of exercise as a cosmetic intervention, or as a means of enhancing muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance. But physical exercise has far-reaching implications for overall health, especially when it comes to immune function. People who exercise regularly have fewer infections and are less vulnerable to pathogens like viruses and bacteria. Regular exercisers are less likely to contract and spread communicable diseases. They have healthier respiratory systems that can withstand viral infections.
The key to getting the most out of exercise for health and immunity is consistency. Daily brisk walking, 2-3 resistance training sessions a week or other regular exercise that elevates your heart rate and challenges your muscles can have a powerful impact on your health and immunity.
2. Stress management
Living in a state of perpetual stress wreaks havoc on your immune system. The stress hormone cortisol reduces the number of circulating lymphocytes, lowering your guard against viruses and other pathogens. Many people adopt unhealthy coping strategies to manage stress, which can further reduce your immunity. People with chronic stress have a higher incidence of upper respiratory infections, which is often the driver of fatalities from viral pathogens.
Healthy stress management strategies include exercise, spending time in nature, meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, massage, cryotherapy and other relaxing activities performed throughout the day.
3. Sleep optimization
It is generally agreed that most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep per night, with 4-5 fully uninterrupted sleep cycles. Yet many adults are perpetually sleep deprived, which has the same effect as stress on your immune system. In addition to going to bed too late, things that interfere with productive sleep include going to sleep with the TV on, drinking alcohol before bed, sleeping on a too-full stomach, sleeping in a too-warm or too-bright room, sleep apnea, sleeping with pets in bed, stress, noise and other factors.
To optimize the benefits of sleep, go to bed at the same time every night, allowing 8 hours before your wakeup time. Sleep in a cool dark room, use a white noise app, stretch out your spine and tight muscles to relax, silence your phone, turn off the television and focus on deep breathing through your nose as you drift off to sleep.
4. Nutrient dense diet
Your body cannot perform well or build a healthy immune system if you deprive it of the nutrients it needs. A whole foods diet of fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals gives your body the nutrients it needs to build strong immune cells and fight invading pathogens. During cold and flu season, IV vitamin therapy can give you an added infusion of high-dose nutrients to boost your immune function.
5. NAD+ IV Therapy
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a crucial coenzyme that plays an important role in cellular health in the human body. It is involved in every living cell’s energy production, survival, proliferation and function. There is mounting evidence that NAD+ is one of the prime modulators for regulating immune response and function.
Your body produces NAD+ naturally, but levels drop significantly as you age. NAD+ drip therapy infuses your bloodstream with potent NAD+ that is carried to cells throughout your body to optimize defenses against viral infections. Older adults who are most vulnerable to viral infections may benefit greatly from NAD+ IV therapy.
In addition to the above five steps, frequent hand washing, not touching your eyes, nose or mouth with your hands, and avoiding crowded public spaces can help ward off viral infections.
Immunity Boosting NAD+ Therapy in NYC
For residents or visitors to NYC, IV drip therapy from Advanced Cryo NYC offers a safe and effective way to support you immune system with potent nutrients, including antioxidants and NAD+. Nutritional therapy requires no prescription and is minimally invasive. A typical session lasts about an hour, and takes place in a peaceful relaxed environment. Advanced Cryo also offers whole body cryotherapy, to alleviate stress, boost immune function and promote restful sleep.
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Grahnert, Andreas, et al. “NAD+: a modulator of immune functions.” Innate immunity 17.2 (2011): 212-233.
Nieman, David C., and Laurel M. Wentz. “The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system.” Journal of sport and health science 8.3 (2019): 201-217.
Singhal, Amit, and Catherine Youting Cheng. “Host NAD+ metabolism and infections: therapeutic implications.” International immunology 31.2 (2019): 59-67.