The Power of Vaccines and Healthy Living For Your Immune System

In your pursuit of health and well-living, caring for your immune system probably comes as a top priority. One way you can boost your immune system is through vaccines and incorporating a few healthy habits into your lifestyle to help foster a life well-lived.

So, what are vaccines exactly? In a way, they can be seen as trainers for your immune system, as they help prepare it to recognize and fight off potential threats. When you get vaccinated, a harmless version of bacteria or viruses, or their components, is introduced to your body. This “teaches” your body how to respond to harmful agents you might encounter down the road. That’s why you might experience fatigue or other side effects after getting a vaccine.

To help you stay on top of your vaccines, you can look at them as two different categories:

1. Routine vaccines: These are the ones you probably received as a child, protecting you from diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and tetanus. They lay a foundation of health early on. You might need to get booster shots every few years to maintain your immunity.

2. Seasonal vaccines: These vaccines are needed annually, to help boost your immunity against viruses during certain seasons, such as flu season. Yearly vaccinations are necessary as some viruses may change from one year to the next.

Beyond vaccines, there are also a few other ways you can give your immune system an extra boost:

  • Aim for daily servings of fruit and vegetables to provide your body with key vitamins to support your natural defenses including vitamins A, C, D, E, and zinc.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water which will help with your overall health, and to maintain a strong skin barrier – our body’s largest organ!
  • Prioritize quality sleep, aiming for 7-9 hours of restful sleep each night. Sleep provides your body the rest it needs to be at its best.
  • Get your body moving for at least 150 minutes each week can naturally boost your immune system.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption, as both can inhibit your body’s natural defenses.
  • Maintain a positive outlook, cultivate healthy relationships, and find ways to manage stress as emotional well-being plays a role in overall health.

While these can’t totally replace the immunity built by vaccines, they are great ways to support your body and its natural defenses by giving it what it needs to be more resilient.

If you’re unsure whether you’re due for a vaccine, you should check your Quartz MyChart or talk to your doctor. You can also visit our Annual Wellness Guidelines to read more about different vaccines and preventive care steps you can take to promote your health and well-being. 

A young boy in a red shirt smiles and flexes his arm to show the bandaid he got after getting a shot

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