A Guide to Strengthening Your Immune System

Woman Exercising to Improve Immune System

How You Can Support Your Immune System

We’re not just building muscles at Castle Hill Fitness. We’re building fully healthy bodies, inside and out, all the way down to your immune system. 

You’re doing all the basics of coronavirus prevention – washing your hands, wearing a mask, social distancing – but the stay-healthy routine goes deeper than that. In order to help fight off infections, a strong immune system is an important weapon in your arsenal. A healthy and balanced lifestyle will strengthen and support the body’s immune responses. There are many methods to incorporate fortifying immune system practices in your daily life. 

Boost Your Immune System Through: 

» Exercise
» Sleep
» Nutrition
» Stress Management

Keep Up with Your Workouts

If you’re here and reading this, you’re probably already doing this one. Keep it up! A regular exercise routine is a strong method in supporting healthy immune functions. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, including aerobic exercises and strength training, spread out over the course of the week. This recommended time would offer the most consistent benefits, but even one session has a significant impact! Recent studies show that a single workout session can alter up to 9,815 molecules in our bloodstream-  with the types ranging from those involved in fueling and metabolism, immune response, tissue repair, or appetite. 

Veera Korjala WorkoutA consistent exercise routine has a significant impact on heart health, cognitive function, muscle strength, mobility, flexibility, and can reduce stress, the risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, depression, metabolic syndrome, and certain cancers – conditions that make the body more susceptible to the novel coronavirus. Exercise works in enhancing the immune system and metabolic health by stimulating the exchange of highly active immune cell subtypes between the circulation and tissues – an almost-daily routine will amplify and make these changes consistent

The great thing is, you have plenty of options on how to exercise for those benefits! Castle Hill Fitness offers over 70 different opportunities to get your daily movement on in your own home on our live-stream class schedule. We even have a class specifically designed to boost your immune system! 

Balanced Nutrition

 

How you fuel your body is instrumental in how your body’s immune system functions. A nutrient-rich and healthy diet is required for the health and function of all cells, and how we feed our microbiomehas a direct impact on our overall well-being. The microbiome is where all the trillions of microbes live in our bodies, mainly our gut – a huge site of immune activity. A happy, well-fed microbiome helps keep you healthy and strong.
Woman Drinking Water to Boost Immune System
To better feed a healthy immune system, eat a balanced diet filled with nutrient-rich and whole foods. Minimize sugar intake and alcohol consumption – both inflammatory agents that affect the immune system.  Stay properly hydrated – try to drink half of your body weight in ounces daily. Try adding lemon for an extra boost of Vitamin C! You can also incorporate herbs and supplements to give your immune system a boost!

Supplement Your Diet With: 

» Multivitamin
» Elderberry
» Echinacea
» Zinc
» Vitamin C
» Vitamin D
» Spore probiotics (these are the only one that survive digestion)
» Powdered “supergreens” that contain kale, spinach, wheatgrass, spirulina, and moringa.
In times of high anxiety and stress, sleep may be harder to come by. Which leads us to stress, the importance of managing it, in the name of promoting optimal sleep behavior

Don’t Shirk Your Self-Care

No, it’s not just in your head. Just as it’s important to focus on your physical well-being right now, it’s equally crucial you tend to your mental health as well – high levels of stress have very real effects on our bodies, and lead to suppressed immune functions. Ongoing stress causes the body to release stress hormones, including cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands that regulates and mobilizes energy within the body. Although it can serve useful functions, chronically elevated cortisol levels changes the effectiveness of cortisol in regulating inflammatory and immune responses. Ongoing stress also affects sleep habits, which again, affects the immune system. 

Incorporate calming practices throughout your day, and actively dedicate time to unwinding and calming your mind. Effective methods of managing stress are:

» Take a walk – Enjoy the feel of the sun and fresh air on your face, get some Vitamin D, and gain the emotional and mental health benefits that come from spending time outside.

» Enjoy a cup of tea – Drink a soothing tea with ingredients that aim in calming the nervous system, such as chamomile, lavender, passionflower, or lemon balm.

» Work it out!– In addition to the immune-boosting benefits of exercise, it also reduces your stress levels and floods your brain with those feel-good endorphins.

» Meditate – Even a few minutes of meditation will make an impact on your mental and emotional well being. According to this Harvard University study, consistent practice over the course of eight weeks even made measurable, structural changes in the brain. We offer free live-stream Meditation classes every morning from Monday to Friday!

» Unplug – We digest information and the news 24/7, and that’s a pretty big source of stress nowadays. Actively step away from it all for a bit.

» Practice positivity – Break the cycle of negative thinking and actively employ tactics that will put you in a more positive mindset.

» Do what makes you happy – Enjoy a good book or movie, dance around your living room to some epic tunes, enjoy a warm, relaxing bath. 

As we often say at Castle Hill Fitness – a healthy body is more than just breaking a sweat. Incorporating the above practices will further strengthen your immune system to help maintain your health in these pandemic times. So keep up with your CDC-recommended protective actions and focus on your immune boosters, and stay healthy! We got this. 

 

 

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Joan Tomson
Joan Tomson
24 days ago

Good reminders ! Thank you.