Oh no, seems like everyone is getting sick these days! Here are 3 EASY TIPS to boost your immune system.
Seriously… you guys know this stuff! It’s the stuff your mom told you. But it was true, and she was right. So in no particular order, here are three key ways to boost your immune system… (drumroll please).
1. EAT RIGHT. More fruits and veggies!
Make what you eat. Try to have homemade stuff whenever possible. The more you eat homemade, the higher your chances are that it’s nutritious. Now… Eat what you make! In other words, actually eat it; don’t just serve it to the kids!
Vitamins and minerals are what protects your immune system and fights illness! And drink water too. But you knew this.
2. SLEEP RIGHT.
Prioritise sleep. There are loads of resources on how to fall asleep and stay asleep. I fall asleep easily but often toss and turn in the night. Recently cognitive shuffle technique has been working for me to get me through these patches. You are not helping anyone by getting “one more thing” done before going to bed… and if you get sick and miss three days of productivity you will definitely not be ahead. But you knew this!
Here’s one I’ll bet you didn’t know: exercise makes your immune system stronger, just like it makes your muscles stronger.
Maybe it’s the blood coursing through your system that flushes nutrients and white blood cells around your body, while flushing viruses and bacteria out. Maybe it’s the increased breathing that pushes germs out of your nose and lungs faster. Doctors and scientists aren’t exactly sure HOW it works, but they DO know its true. Or maybe exercise just helps you eat and sleep more. 🙂
BONUS TIPS, BECAUSE I LOVE YOU. Like, for real.
Booze. Try to reduce alcohol to one or two nights a week. An easy way to do this is to say no drinks from Sunday to Thursday. Booze also convinces you poutine before bed is a good idea and then messes with your ability to stay asleep. See rules 1 & 2.
Fermented foods. Kefir, kombucha, kimchi, kisses… seems like all the good stuff start with K! Fermented foods help line the intestinal wall keeping baddies out, and they feed your gut flora which keeps your immune system high. Which can lead to more kisses. Yay! (Not fermented kisses, that’s gross).
How much exercise is too much? You want to stress your body just enough so that it bounces back stronger. Wait too long between workouts and you lose the stress effect; wait too little between workouts and you lose the opportunity to bounce back. Four-ish times a week is ideal, rotating between different muscle groups and styles of exercise (fast, slow, heavy, bodyweight, mobility, etc.). If you have are itching to do more, use the time for sleep or meal prep. You know which rules to see. 🙂
When should you NOT exercise? The rule of thumb in this case is actually the “rule of neck”. If your symptoms are above the neck (stuffy, congested) you are probably ok to train. It won’t shorten the lifespan of the cold but it may help break up congestion. If symptoms are below the neck (lung infection, bronchitis, for e.g.) you want to see rules 1 & 2: eat and sleep right until you are better.
Just ‘cuz these tips are simple doesn’t make them easy to follow. There’s lots going on! I know! So don’t beat yourself up if you’re not getting a perfect score on the above; no one is. We’d all be self-loving, hyper-inspired, higher-level conscious, one-hand-handstanding ninjas volunteering at the orphanage.
Just figure out which is your biggest culprit (or easiest opportunity to make a change) and try to move that one lever a little to the right. That’s it. It may be all the difference you need to fight that next little virus heading your way.
Stay healthy, stay happy!