Improve Your Immune System with these 5 Healthy Tips
Keeping your immune system healthy during Covid-19 doesn't necessarily mean you have to make super human efforts. A few changes to your routine can give you more energy, help you avoid illness and keep you healthy during these crazy times. Your immune system and nervous system work together as a super system to keep your body healthy and strong. What you do to help your nervous system helps your immune system and vice versa.
First, nutrition is vital to having a healthy immune system. One of the biggest favors you can do to your body is cut the sugar. It is a well established fact that sugar depresses your body's immune system leaving you less able to fight off infection and more vulnerable to getting sick.
Adding in dark leafy greens will also give your body the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep it strong and healthy. For the salad eaters, the darker the leaf the more the vitamins. While iceberg lettuce is an improvement to a lolly pop, dark greens like kale, romaine or butter head lettuce contains loads of the fuel your immune system requires to stay healthy.
Secondly, exercise is critical for your immune system to work properly. With Covid-19 the primary risk factors for it going poorly are high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. Exercise can manage and mitigate those risk factors. You don't have to go crazy with it but regularly spending 30 minutes getting your blood pumping will help build your immune system. Since pulmonary function is a big part of this virus, most health care professionals agree that the better your lungs are going into an infection, the better they will come out of one. If you are new to exercise, start with a good daily walk and if you are an old pro, find a way to bump it up. Exercise and activity are fun, it doesn't have to be a grind. There are countless ways to have fun and get your heart pumping and build your immune system while doing it. Whether it is a dog walk, paddle board session on the lake or a fun bicycle ride, any of these are great forms of exercise.
Third, go outside. There are so many great green spaces in our area. Pack a picnic, grab a blanket and just find some nature, quiet and fresh air. Nature is healing, watching tv is not. Reduce your time in front of the television, spend more time outside and notice how much better you feel physically and mentally.
Fourth, manage your stress. We all understand that the more stressed we get mentally, the more our body's internalize that stress. Not only do we need to take care of ourselves physically, we also need to take care of ourselves mentally. Reducing the impact of stress on our immune systems requires attention to our mental state. Meditation is incredibly helpful and the Headspace app gets GREAT reviews. As a frequent user, I have found it vital to keeping both my body and mind relaxed.
Lastly, there is just no substitute for the impact of healthy sleep habits on your immune system. There are many variables you can not control about sleep but you can control your sleep hygiene. Keeping electronic devices out of the room including tv's will help you sleep better. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will also help your body keep your immune system strong. Research has shown over and over again, 7-8 hours of sleep per night is critical for your immune system to work at it's best potential to fight off infections.