Boosting your immune system
Updated: Apr 14, 2020
Being quarantined due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) is no easy task, especially for those of us who enjoy being active. Staying home and practicing social distancing is crucial to remaining safe and healthy during this season of uncertainty, though. In addition to those two actions, boosting your immune system is a great way to ward off the virus, and any other illness that you may come in contact with in the future. So, how do you give that immune system a boost?
Regular exercise, no matter the activity, is an excellent way to boost your immune system. When you exercise, you are not only doing your body good by working out and getting your blood flowing, you’re also producing endorphins, which are chemicals in your brain that make you feel happy. Due to social distancing and fitness facilities closing, gym goers are getting creative with at home workouts. To maintain exercise routines, people are streaming various fitness classes and following online training programs now more than ever.
General recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include 2 hours and 30 minutes a week (30 minutes/5 days/week) of moderate intensity physical activity and 2-3 days of muscle and bone strengthening exercises. Part of my job as a personal trainer is to create exercise prescription programs tailored to each client.
Hydration is the key to keeping your muscles and joints working properly, so that you can be on your A-game. Not only does it provide awesome effects on the body, it also contributes to positive effects on your brain power and mood. Drinking water helps you focus, putting yourself in a better frame of mind, and avoiding grogginess and fatigue.
Did you know it’s recommended that you drink half a gallon of water a day? Although that sounds like a lot, it’s actually just eight, 8-ounce glasses. A trick to make sure you’re staying hydrated and not forgetting to drink enough is to buy a 16- to 20-ounce reusable bottle that you can have around throughout the day. With this reusable bottle, you are not only staying hydrated, you’re helping to save the environment. In addition to water, replacing electrolytes is just as important. Consuming coconut water is a great post-workout option.
A balanced diet is the base of any healthy lifestyle. During your next trip to the grocery store, focus on these four things – fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats. Believe it or not, eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Follow me here.
Let’s start with fruits and vegetables. Your best bet is to eat a wide variety of the two to ensure you are giving your body everything it needs to function. The two also provide high levels of antioxidants, which research shows can help delay cellular damage. For example, pick up a bunch of bananas or a carton of fresh blueberries, both of which make great additions to your breakfast. When shopping for veggies, go for the leafy greens and sweet potatoes. They are affordable, nutritious and filling. Now onto lean protein. Think chicken, turkey and fish without the skin to avoid unhealthy fats. Speaking of fats… they’re not all bad! Try out olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds and avocado – all in moderation – to add some healthy fats to your diet.
Incorporating supplements into your routine may be important for your fitness goals, but it’s also important to your immune system. The more often you put healthy supplements into your body, the more likely you are to want to exercise and get stuff done!
If you’ve ever walked into a nutrition store, you know the supplement section can be a bit overwhelming. Let me help you out. Do your research and make sure supplements are the best for your body and are NSF certified! Below are a few supplements I recommend to boost immunity.
Vitamin C and Zinc
Host Defense Mushrooms
Focus on staying active, hydrated, eating balanced meals and taking in the proper supplements and you will be on your way to building a strong immune system.