With no better time to pay attention to your health, here are 7 ways to build your immune system to strengthen yourself against disease.
1. Eat Healthy Fats
Healthy fats containing Omega 3 are strengthening to you immune system because they relieve oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress weight on the immune system keeping it fighting the whole time. When a foreign bacteria or virus gets in, the immune system is already overloaded and will be slow to fight the invader.
2. Look after your microbiome
Your microbiome is your unique collection of microbes that you have living inside your body. These friendly microbes form part of your immune system and work with your immune cells to fight disease. Probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha and prebiotics will help keep your gut flora blooming.
Meditation is a way of decreasing stress as you focus on the breath and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This body state is a stress relieving state and allows your immune system to function properly. You don't have to meditate for hours. A few minutes of breathing practice will do the trick.
4. Get Fresh Air
There's nothing like getting outside and breathing the air from a well ventilated space to decrease stress levels. Walking outside brings your mind to the present moment and the stimulus of being outside, like the wind on your skin is relaxing and calming. Calming body and mind is essential for reducing oxidative stress and high cortisol levels in the body that may impair immune function.
Whilst high intensity exercise can stress the body and impair immune function, endurance exercise is well known to have to opposite effect. Making sure that you stay active and challenge your body with duration rather than intensity is a sure fire way to boost your immunity. Try walking, running, cycling at a pace where you can hold a conversation, and other strengthening exercises like pilates and yoga for that stress relieving, immune boost. With being confined to our homes, it's an opportunity to try something new and creative in the way of exercising.
In this time of social distancing, we have to be creative about this. Humans are hardwired for connection and a sense of belonging is necessary to ward off stress. Use an online app like Zoom or Skype to keep in touch with friends a relatives.
A problem shared is a problem halved.
Decreasing stress is key to boosting immune function.
7. Nurture A Hobby
In the time of social media scrolling and Netflix binge watching, less and less of us have a hobby. Studies show that people who have a hobby are less stressed. Try something you love and spend some uninterrupted time doing it, reading, puzzling or crafting may be options for you. The goal is to decrease stress and boost immune function.
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