How’s your health lately?
The coronavirus doesn’t choose who will it attack next, so you’ll be wise to boost your immune system right now!
5 Ways to Boost the Immune System
We all want to believe that we’ve been living a healthy lifestyle, eating nutritious foods, and taking our vitamins. But with coronavirus cases on the rise and those in poor health being the most susceptible to becoming severely ill, interest in building immunity is higher than ever.
There are several factors that contribute to your overall health:
- Sleep Schedule
- Alcohol & Tobacco Use
- Body Weight
You really don’t get a say in your genetics, and now isn’t a great time to plan a move if your environment isn’t a healthy one.
Yet, there’s a lot you can do about the other factors.
1. Follow a Healthy Diet
For so many of us, quarantining has become an excuse to raid the snack cabinet all day. Our schedules have been disrupted, and we are allowing ourselves to feed boredom hunger.
Fresh foods may also be hard to find if your local grocery stores are not restocking quickly enough. If you are uncomfortable going out at all, you are likely well into your stock of canned or frozen goods.
It is critical that you make a healthy diet a priority if you want to boost your immune system.
On the most simple level:
- Do not overeat
- Eat mostly plants
Prioritize these foods in your diet for optimal health:
- Citrus fruits
- Green tea
- Green vegetables
- Sunflower seeds
Read your labels! Avoid processed foods, refined grains, refined oils, and added sugar, especially now, you want real, whole foods. They will also fill you up and sustain you for longer.
While a lockdown order may be imminent, it’s also wise to start stocking up on food in bulk.
2. Exercise Regularly
With more people working from home than ever before, you may have noticed the sidewalks and trails are busy with neighbors walking, running, and biking. Get in on the action! Thirty minutes of physical activity a day is enough to boost your immune system.
To create and maintain a daily exercise habit, it’s important you find something you enjoy. Otherwise, the habit just won’t stick, especially when you return to your regular schedule.
Exercise videos aren’t for everyone. Walking, biking, swimming, bodyweight exercises, and dancing are all low-impact options.
If you despise traditional exercise, add chores to your schedule instead. Gardening, sweeping, mowing your lawn, and washing your windows all burn calories, too. Bonus points if you go outside for some vitamin D.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Resist the urge to stay up all night on a Netflix binge! Your goal should always be 7-8 hours each night for peak immunity. Both too little and too much sleep can be damaging to your health.
Many people are finding themselves sedentary during this time; keeping active is important so that you don’t toss and turn all night.
4. Quit Alcohol and Smoking
Do you find yourself mixing up your daily Quarantini a little earlier each day? Do you look forward to your smoke breaks to break up the monotony of being home? Both habits are some of the absolute worst when it comes to your immune system.
Your body will perform its best when you eliminate drinking and smoking entirely.
If you do continue to drink, limit yourself to one drink each day. Quitting may be the hardest thing you do in life, but it will also be a big money saver and a big boost to your immune system.
Trivia: Studies show that alcohol makes you more susceptible to pneumonia.
5. Maintain Your Ideal Body Weight
Your immune system will reward you if you achieve and maintain healthy body weight. Your healthy weight may vary a little, and being slightly overweight will not adversely affect you in the long run.
Luckily, a healthy diet and daily exercise should keep you right around where you need to be. If not, speak with your doctor about reasons you’re keeping too much weight on (or off).
Supplements and vitamins can be great additions to your diet, but ultimately, you should be absorbing most of your nutrients through your food intake.
Healthy choices take about 21 days to become a habit, so you have plenty of time to boost your immune system during the quarantine to reach optimal health.
There’s no day like today to get started!
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