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Immune System

Managing Your Immune System

The immune system is a great protector against microorganisms. But can you make it even better? Although there are no proven ways yet to improve your immune system, you can make it function well by having healthy lifestyle habits, especially if you are older. Here, the experts from Harvard Medical School share their best tips:

*Don’t smoke

*Eat a diet that’s high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Keep your saturated-fat intake low.

*Make sure you exercise regularly

*Manage your weight

*Control hypertension

*If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation

*Don’t skimp on sleep

*Avoid infections via techniques like washing your hands thoroughly. Cook meats until they are done.

*Have regular medical tests for people in your age group and risk category

The Harvard experts emphasize that although many supplements claim to boost or support immunity, that is dubious. And trying to boost the number of cells in your body, whether

Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. The Harvard experts cite the example of athletes who do “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance. That puts them  at a higher risk for stroke.

As of now, there are no proven ways to better your immune system. But researchers are studying the issue – and until then, a healthy lifestyle is your best defense.

To learn more about exercising, one of the best ways you can help your health, buy Starting to Exercise, a Harvard Medical School Special Report. Click here to order.

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