4 Ways to Boost Your Immune System During the Pandemic, and Beyond!
Boosting your immune system is simple; but, simple does not always mean easy. Take the time to look at where you can make the most improvement, and practice each skill one at a time for 2-4 weeks to make it a habit. Here are the 4 steps, and one bonus step, to boost that immune system naturally!
Step 1: Make sure your getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep most nights.
Prather and colleagues (2015), found that those who had 6 hours of sleep or less were 4.2 times more likely to catch the common cold compared to those who got 7+ hour of sleep. So, if you’re truly wanting to boosting your immune system, be sure to get 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night. (Ps. don’t stress if you have one or 2 bad nights of sleep; they won’t hinder you if a majority of the time you getting enough.)
To make sure you are getting quality sleep every night follow the 10-3-2-1 Method (Click here for more info)
Step 2: Eat a well balanced diet with whole, minimally processed, foods.
A well balanced diet ensures that you will be getting all the macro nutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats), and micronutrients (vitamins, and minerals) that your body needs to thrive and keep you immune system strong. We like to use hand portion sizes because they are easy and travel with you!
Aim to get each of these at every meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner):
1-2 Palms of Lean Protein
1-2 Fists of Colorful Veggies
1-2 Cupped Handfuls of Smart Carbs
1-2 Thumbs of Healthy Fats
As always eat them slowly, mindfully, and stop when you are content.
If this is something you struggle with, focus first on either proteins or vegetables! You will know where you can make the biggest improvement.
Step 3: Manage your stress levels
Stress can be good, like exercise, and bad, like a crappy boss. Carrying extra stress can reduce our bodies ability to fight off illness and infections. If you have too much stress in your lives, it could be time to look at how you are recovering from it and work to find a ways to decrease that stress.
Some of our favorite ways to decrease stress are:
“Dial Down” your fitness routine when the rest of life is Dialed Up
20 minute walk outside (bonus dose of Vitamin D if the sun is shining!)
Find 3 things you’re grateful for every day.
Step 4: Exercise:
It may seem funny that we, as gym, have exercise last. That is because exercise is a stress to the human body. It can be good stress when it’s challenging but not too difficult, and you allow your body to recover from it by resting, getting 7-8 hours of quality sleep, eating a well balanced diet, and managing your overall stress levels.
We encourage you to find what your individual fitness level is and have routine that allows you to progressively improve your fitness every week, month, and year. As you progressively increase your fitness you will progressively increase your immune system as well.
Wash your hands often, and try to keep your distance from people who seem sick. Kinda redundant, I’m sure this ones not new news!! But keep it up, and let’s keep each other healthy!