1. Eat the Rainbow! Balanced Nutrition Builds Immunity
Did you know about 70% of your immune system is in your gut? Food is medicine. Eat the rainbow – food like colorful vegetables and low-glycemic fruits along with nuts and seeds increase our nutrient intake. Opt for those sweet potato fries, zucchini noodles, and cauliflower rice. Can’t eat fresh vegetables? Eat frozen! With similar nutritional value as of fresh fruits and vegetables, these are a great backup option in the event fresh produce is not available. Think outside the box and get creative with smoothies which are a great way to get your fruits and veggies in.
2. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sleep to Restore and Help Your Body Recover
We can’t stress enough how critical consistent sleep is to building resiliency and restoring your immune system. The best advice when it comes to sleep is to listen to your body. The range of needed sleep varies from person to person, but generally 7 to 9 hours for young adults and adults, and 7 to 8 hours of sleep for older adults is recommended. Getting consecutive hours of restorative sleep allows your body to recover from the day’s stress and activity and prepares, or restores the body for the day ahead. This is important during times of heightened illness and building immunity.
3. Reduce Stress with Exercise, Meditation, and Nature
It is common to feel increased levels of stress during uncertain times surrounding COVID-19. However, maintaining regular routines with exercise and meditation helps to reduce cortisol levels impacted by the added stress. Because many may opt to self-quarantine or are working remotely you will have to think outside your comfort zone and be creative with such workouts. Additionally, be sure to listen to your body to dictate your activity levels. Very simple bodyweight exercises in the comfort of your own homework well, run the stairs, push-ups during commercials, or even planking in between conference alls are excellent places to start. Get outside for a walk or even practice yoga or mindful meditation in a quiet place.
Incorporate these three facets into your new daily routine:
– Visiting green spaces and getting out in nature
– Exercise – exercise boosts immunity and manages stress
– Meditation & mindfulness go a long way in improving physical and mental health – and helping us manage our stress in these stressful times
4. Cut Back on the Happy Hours and Eliminate Nicotine
These two habits can be detrimental to building immunity. High alcohol intake can certainly suppress immunity and impact the quality of your sleep, not to mention cause dehydration. Furthermore smoking or vaping impairs your lung’s ability to not only get oxygen to your system but to clear your lungs from build-up that can increase your risk of infection.