Have you noticed lately that people of all ages are focused on how to stay healthy or should I say how to “Not get Covid-19?” As I scurry out of the door with my two younger children I am constantly repeating, “Don’t forget your mask.. and don’t forget your hand sanitizer!” We wash our hands obsessively and take preventative measures to “Not get sick.” After I finally got over my fear to go back to the supermarket, the gym and go out to a restaurant again (in that order), I did my research on how we can all boost our immune system. The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against illness. A stronger immune system means there is less of a chance of getting sick. Let’s face it, don’t we all want a stronger immune system to live longer healthier lives? I know I do! There is something liberating about letting go of that which we can’t control and focusing on what we can, our health and vitality. Take a look below to see the following simple methods we can use to boost our immune system.
A recent study was done by UCSF showing that people that slept less than 6 hours a night were 4 times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus as opposed to people who slept 7 hours or more. Scientists have long known that sleep is an essential part of well-being and now more than ever we need our sleep!
Studies show a direct link between stress and dehydration. High levels of stress can weaken the immune system but proper hydration can actually improve how your body intakes nutrients. Another important aspect of water is that it cleanses your body of toxins. Try drinking a glass of water with lemon in it in the morning. Lemons have high levels of Vitamin C which aids in boosting your immune system and detoxification.
Exercising is my favorite of the list and if you are reading this it may be yours too! The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week to stimulate your immune system. That’s only 30 minutes for 5 days or a 50 minute Mantra class at least 3 days a week. Exercise actually causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. The white blood cells are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. Who’s ready to work out today?
Although this one seems like the most evident to a healthy immune system it also can be the most challenging to maintain. Experts say that the body absorbs it’s vitamins best directly from the source of food; it is important to note what we may not be getting enough of and take vitamins to supplement ourselves. According to Harvard Chan School of Public Health, the nutrients that are critical for essential growth and function of immune cells are as follows, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron and protein.
Scientists have found that when we are stressed the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. So how do we stress less? Everyone has different methods that are effective for them including breathing exercises, meditation, prayer etc. Practicing gratitude daily can also help reduce stress. When we are truly grateful for the things that are going right in our lives it shifts our mind set for a more positive day!
There you have it, 5 simple methods to ensure your immune system stays supercharged! One more thing, don’t leave home without your hand sanitizer and your face mask. Stay healthy and stay positive!