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Stress and Your Immune System

Timeless Fitness Tip

Daily meditation can strengthen your immune system by gradually lowering the level of stress hormones in your body.

Stress and your immune system respond to meditation

For best results, meditate every day. All it involves is sitting quietly and finding a way to take the thoughts that bother you and set them aside for a few moments. Another technique, guided imagery, is another great way to relax and reduce the impact of stress.

Guided imagery teaches people to imagine their bodies slowly relaxing, muscle by muscle, and then to imagine themselves in a soothing, calming scenario. To get started with meditation, consider the DVD, Meditation for Beginners#. Yoga and meditation instructor Maritza guides you step-by-step in the practice of mindfulness so you can calm and center yourself.

Don't care for either of those ideas? Try a massage!

Massage When we're stressed, our muscles tense which can result in more pain and more stress. A good massage relaxes tight muscles and calms the brain, helping to rid the body of immune suppressing stress hormones. The human body also produces significantly more specialized white blood cells known as natural killer (NK) cells after a massage. NK cells are part of the immune system's search-and-destroy team, ridding the body of viruses and other intruders.

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