Saturday, January 25, 2014

Immunity against Alabama’s Changing Weather

Alabama’s weather can be very unpredictable and easy to get sick in. One day the weather can be so beautiful that it would almost be a sin to sit inside and do nothing. On another day, many times the very next day, the weather can be so frightful that you wouldn’t even want to look outside. Weather changes can play a role in lowering our immune systems’ ability to fight against germs and diseases. So how can we protect ourselves from this crazy Alabama weather? Below, in article titled 6 Immune System Busters & Boosters, WebMD explains how our lifestyles can negatively affect our immune system and how changes can be made to improve it. Following the article are pertinent books that you can find in the Birmingham Public Library. Hopefully, after reading this information we’ll be better prepared for whatever Alabama’s weather throws our way.

6 Immune System Busters & Boosters
1. You're short on sleep.
Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone. It may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure how sleep boosts the immune system, it’s clear that getting enough – usually 7 to 9 hours for an adult – is key for good health.

2. You don't exercise.
Try to get regular, moderate exercise, like a daily 30-minute walk. It can help your immune system fight infection. If you don't exercise, you're more likely to get colds, for example, than someone who exercises. Exercise can also boost your body's feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are good for your immune system.

3. Your diet is off.
Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks. Eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc.

4. You're always stressed.
Everyone has some stress; it's part of life. If stress drags on for a long time, it makes you more vulnerable to illness, from colds to serious diseases. Chronic stress exposes your body to a steady stream of stress hormones that suppress the immune system. You may not be able to get rid of your stress, but you can get better at managing it. Some ways include meditating, slowing down, and connecting with other people.

5. You're too isolated.
People who feel connected to friends – whether it’s a few close friends or a large group – have stronger immunity than those who feel alone, studies show. In one study, lonely freshmen had a weaker immune response to a flu vaccine than those who felt connected to others.

6. You've lost your sense of humor.
Laughing is good for you. It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

For a full article go to

The Immune System by Gregory J. Stewart
The Immune System: Your Body's Disease-Fighting Army by Mark P. Friedlander
In Defense of Self: How the Immune System Really Works by William R. Clark
The Immune System: How It Works by Lydia Woods Schindler.

Karnecia Williams
Inglenook Library

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