The human body is very much capable of giving signals when it becomes incapable of handling common viral diseases and other mild conditions. It gives warnings when the immune system is weak and not that efficient in protecting against pathogens. Knowing such warnings or signs can help you address a problem before it blows out of proportion.

Below is a list of the top three tell-tale signs of a weak immune system, courtesy of CNBC.

Getting Sick Frequently

If you get sick more often and take longer than usual to recover, your immune system must be working at a sluggish rate. Sneezes and sniffles are very common during the cold season, but having them more often than usual, especially when it’s not even winter, should tell you that something is wrong with your first line of defense against pathogens.

Experiencing Constant Stress

A minimal level of stress is undeniably helpful for overall wellness. Acute stressors like a traffic jam can help boost your immune system in the short term. But if you are getting stressed out and experiencing chronic stress, there must be something wrong with your immune system. Such a condition can lead you to suffer increased infections and recover poorly from diseases.

Having Cold Sores And Shingles Often

Cold sores and shingles are caused by the herpes virus family, and they tend to have similar-appearing rashes. The herpes virus can enter a dormant state in the body, but it can be reactivated and start replicating when the immune system is subject to stress. Hence, having frequent reactivations would indicate that the immune system is weak.

If you have one or all three, it’s time for you to address the elephant in the room and boost your immune system for better protection, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Internal medicine physician Dr. Michael E. Ford, MD, has shared simple tips to strengthen the immune system via the New York-Presbyterian Hospital’s website.

Aerobic Exercise

Regular exercise has been linked to having a better immune system, and it is also said to reduce stress and help relieve depression. According to Ford, people who engage in aerobic exercises daily get sick less than people who don’t. That’s because the activity brings in several positive changes to the body. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, and helps regulate body weight.

Balanced Diet

Ford suggested having a “well-rounded, balanced diet” packed with vegetables, lean meats and healthy fats. He said that this would help improve the body’s defenses against infections. Instead of taking probiotic supplements, he also recommended adding yogurt and fermented foods to the diet will have a much better effect on the body.

Enough Sleep

Enough sleep does wonders for the body. Sleep is more than just a state of rest since it also involves the process of revitalization. Ford said everyone should aim for six to eight hours of sleep per night so that “the whole system of the body is revitalized.” Sticking to a bedtime routine can help promote a good sleeping pattern, free from disruptions.