In order to heed our concerns about coming down with the Coronavirus, we’ve been practicing protective measures as best we can and may limit our interaction with others. Yet this isolation can actually weaken our immune systems. Luckily, there are methods to improve our immunity without risking exposure that can actually enhance our mood and energy level too.
Try setting a goal to commit to three of the below healthy living strategies to strengthen your immune system and energize your life for the remainder of 2020. Adopting new habits to achieve this goal can give you a sense of renewal and purpose. Besides, getting healthier is always good for you. As an added bonus, these methods will most likely improve your quality of life and your longevity.
Use these healthy lifestyle strategies to help boost your immune system:
Regular exercise: Try to get in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Healthy diet: Choose fruits, vegetables, and minimally processed foods to maximize your nutrient intake. Use the MyPlate technique to determine portions and types of healthy foods that are best for you.
Maintaining healthy weight: Shoot for a BMI at or below 25 to improve overall health and metrics like blood pressure and insulin sensitivity.
Practice good sleep hygiene: Try to get 7-8 hours of un-interrupted sleep per night.
Limit alcohol intake: 6 drinks per week or less for men and 4 per week or less for women.
Which three of the above strategies can you best incorporate into your life? Maybe you already practice some of these. If so, try adopting one or two more.
Keep reading if you’d like to go for some extra credit!
Other efforts that could help boost your immunity:
Vitamin D supplementation: Vitamin D deficiency is associated with higher susceptibility to infection. Try supplementing 1 – 2,000 IU’s per day. It takes at least a month of consistent supplementation to make an impact on immunity.
Cook with fresh garlic: Garlic may reduce the severity of upper respiratory infections as well as prevent viral infections like the common cold.
Consume raw honey: honey can relieve minor pain and inflammation of mucous membranes in your nose and mouth. Honey also has antioxidant properties and some microbial effects.
Probiotics: Probiotics are “good bacteria” that both support gut health and influence the function and regulation of the immune system. Probiotics can be found in full fat Greek yogurt which has live and active cultures of bacteria. They also can decrease susceptibility to respiratory infections.
Prebiotics/Dietary Fiber: Prebiotics act as food for Probiotics. Fiber that can’t be broken down in our gut travels through the large intestine to the probiotics to provide them nutrition to thrive. Prebiotics can be found in fiber rich foods like fruits and vegetable, and specifically in green bananas.
Now you have some strategies and tools in your back-pocket that can help you fend off COVID-19 as well as the common cold!
Remember to start practicing 1-3 of these methods in your daily life by incorporating them as regular behaviors. If you would like some help strategizing how to implement these in your life, sign up for a health coaching session through the Wellness Works website and Darcie will help you.
Thanks for reading and be well!
See the Works Cited below for further reading:
“Boost the Immune System.” Www.Umms.Org, www.umms.org/coronavirus/what-to-know/managing-medical-conditions/healthy-habits/boost-immune-system. Accessed 29 Sept. 2020.
O’Connor, Mary. “Stay Fit to Fight Coronavirus, Say Medics.” BBC News, 28 Mar. 2020, www.bbc.com/news/uk-52076856?fbclid=IwAR08dVfFlORQgY22_Px5I1G-lkUqqNcrSmJm7H5_R8oE0JmXiQ9CHpvvIYU. Accessed 29 Sept. 2020.
“Prebiotics vs. Probiotics: What’s the Difference?” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 25 Mar. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/prebiotics-vs-probiotics-whats-the-difference/. Accessed 1 Oct. 2020.
Sanfilippo, Marisa. “How to Improve Your Work-Life Balance.” Business News Daily, 2019, www.businessnewsdaily.com/5244-improve-work-life-balance-today.html. Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.
“Strengthen Your Immune System With 4 Simple Strategies.” Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic, 13 Apr. 2020, health.clevelandclinic.org/strengthen-your-immune-system-with-simple-strategies/. Accessed 29 Sept. 2020.
“Work Life Balance | Mental Health America.” Mhanational.Org, 2019, www.mhanational.org/work-life-balance. Accessed 18 Sept. 2020.