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Immune Boosting Routine

Uncategorized Apr 09, 2020

Immunity Boosting Routine

 

The world is currently facing a strange time. With the outbreak of coronavirus at our hands, healthcare systems in the US and worldwide alike are feeling its effects like a tsunami in its first moments crashing onto land. This is only the beginning and it is of utmost priority that we maintain a healthy immune system, the first line of defense in the body against infection.

 

A healthy immune system provides your body the proper defense against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. Although this may be a time of high stress and anxiety, chronic stress weakens the immune response which allows a higher risk of illness.

 

Stress increases the presence of the hormone cortisol in the body, which depresses the immune system. Cortisol alters immune system responses and suppresses the digestive system, the reproductive system and growth processes.[1] It is essential during these times to keep stress levels as low as possible. Here are some things to add into your daily routine to reduce stress and boost immunity

 

Laugh more

Although an overlooked way to relieve stress, a simple laugh can bring lots of benefits to the body. A good laugh loosens physical tension in your muscles, leaving them relaxed for up to 45 minutes after. It increases blood flow in the body, and can burn up to 40 calories for every 10-15 minutes. Text old friends, pick up a good book, watch some comedy specials on netflix. Get your laughter in for the day (it pays off!!)

 

Workout

Now that there is time to try out new things, find your movement routine. It is so important to just move your body every single day in one form or another. Exercise doesn’t have to be terrible, and the beauty of it is there are so many ways to your daily movement in (spoiler alert: if you fread doing it, it just isn’t for you.)

 

Yoga, walking, running, pilates, weight lifting, roller skating, biking, swimming, tennis, and golf are just some of the ways to get in the recommended daily 30 minutes. 30 minutes of exercise a day increases blood flow and cardiovascular fitness.

 

Self Care

The best way to take care of your immune system: prioritize yourself. Make sure to set aside time for yourself to do things you enjoy. Try that new hobby, take five minutes and meditate, maybe even journal about your thoughts during this time. This is the time to unwind and slow down. Facetime old friends, play with your pets. The calmer your mind the less frazzled you will be.

 

Sleep

Your body needs proper rest to refuel. You will never get another period like this to treat your body with such kindness and allow it the proper nights rest it needs. The adult recommendation is 7-9 hours.[2] Sleep deficits impair our judgement and decrease our metabolism. Although, some nights it can be hard to unwind. A night routine will allow your body adequate time to decompress and set you up for a good night’s sleep.

 

Drink Up

No, not the alcoholic kind. Excessive consumption of alcohol induces stress on the organs of the body. Try some Turmeric Latte, Matcha Tea and  Hot & Spicy Cocoa. Drinking plenty of water and fluids is essential to keeping a healthy immune system. Citrus and green tea are personally some of my favorites. Turmeric, ginger, lemon, cayenne pepper and a splash of orange juice makes the perfect immunity-boosting shot.

 

Go into the sun

Vitamin D helps produce antibodies. It is found in very few foods. Natural light from the sun is converted into the body into Vitamin D. Daily exposure to the sun is the most organic way to get vitamin D. Something as simple as a 10 to 30-minute walk, several times a week, is enough to ensure vitamin D production and maintain healthy blood levels. Midday is the best time for peak exposure. Exposure time is individualized and based on the sensitivity of skin to sunlight.

 

Eating Right- improved gut health

Vitamins to include in your diet ASAP.

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc

Vegetables

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

Gut Health

  • Use pre- and probiotics to increase your levels of healthy gut bacteria your healthy gut bacteria

Antioxidant foods

  • Berries, such as cherries and blueberries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Pecans
  • Artichokes
  • Coffee
  • Kidney beans
  • Green tea
  • Apples
  • Vegetables such as tomatoes and greens
  • Oily fish

 

Adding in these tweaks may seem minuscule but little changes add up to big results. Set yourself to add in one at a time, little by little. In trying this out for myself, I found that adding in a morning and nighttime routine and establishing a sleeping pattern of the same bedtime and wake up every day has made me the most productive and rested.

 

Stay safe and stay healthy. Remember to wash your hands.

 

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037

[2] https://www.sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times

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