Boosting Your Immune System

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14 May 2015

With the news out that this winter that the flu vaccine only prevented flu in 18 percent of the inoculated population, it’s time to see what measures we can take to protect ourselves in a better way.

Every winter, it seems that most people are going to get a cold or two and up to 20 percent of the population will get the flu.  Because we feel so miserable and have a hard time functions, we make things even worse by spending more than 10 billion dollars each year trying to treat flu symptoms (U.S. statistics).  This all begs the question: If 20 people are sitting in a room, and someone is spreading cold or flu germs, why are some people’s immune system letting them down and they ultimately catch a cold, and why are many of the others sitting in that same room not going to catch something easily contagious?

The key here is taking care of one’s immune system along with proper hygiene.

The immune system is a system of biological structures and processes within an organism that protects against disease. To function properly, an immune system must detect a wide variety of agents, known as pathogens, from viruses to parasitic worms, and distinguish them from the organism’s own healthy tissue.  That is to say, that when our immune systems are working well, it will fight off disease and illness.  What can we do in order to boost our immune system?


Hygiene is so simple, yet it is also something we take for granted. An interesting study done in the American military recruits were told to wash their hands at least five times a day.  After two years, the hand-washing team reported 45 percent fewer cases of respiratory ailments than recruits from the year before, who did not participate in the program.

Here are the basics if you want to minimize your risk of infection and also enhance your overall health:


One study found that the frequency of colds in people who exercised five or more days a week was up to 46 percent less than in those who exercised only one day or less during a week.

Regular exercise improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. It helps maintain a healthy immune system and can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Good Eating

Immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. We do think that vitamins A, B2, B6, C, D, E., selenium and zinc are all vital to upkeep for our immune system.  It is always best to get these vitamins and minerals via food as opposed to supplements.


Modern medicine has come to understand the closely linked relationship of mind and body. A wide variety of sicknesses, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress.

The relationship between stress and immune function is being studied by a number of different types of scientists. On the basis of such experiments, some published studies have made the following claims:

In addition to reducing stress, exercising and eating well, and practicing good hygiene, the Harvard School of Public Medicine suggests:

Approximately 99 percent of us are born with a healthy body and a powerful immune system.  But how we take care of it will determine how efficient it will function and how powerful it will be in helping us ward off illness and disease.   Taking care of your immune system will, “add hours to your day, days to your year and years to your life.”



Alan Freishtat is an A.C.E. CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER and a BEHAVIORAL CHANGE and WELLNESS COACH with over 19 years of professional experience. Alan is the creator and director of the “10 Weeks to Health” program for weight loss. He is available for private coaching sessions, consultations, assessments and personalized workout programs both in his office and by telephone and skype. Alan also lectures and gives seminars and workshops. He can be reached at 02-651-8502 or 050-555-7175, or by email at Check out the his web site – US Line: 516-568-5027.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.