It's that time of year again.... When our noses turn red and sniffles set in. With everything going on in the world, now is the time to check in with your health and give your immune system the boost it needs to keep you healthy! These 5 easy tips will help you and your body fight off infection, diseases and viruses. Give yourself and the people that you love the gift of feeling the best you can and to make sure you are doing everything you can to look after your health!
1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Sounds so simple and this is still something I work on a daily basis. I know how different I feel when I my body is hydrated. My head is less fuzzy, my lips are not chapped and I'm not gasping for water during my workouts! Any of these sound familiar?! And even if you are not exercising you are still losing water every time you breathe and when you pee.
Being dehydrated will slow down the movement of lymph in your system which can take a negative effect on your immune system. So what is lymph? It is a fluid in your circulatory system that carries infection-fighting immune cells around your body. Because your body is mostly made up of water its crucial to give it what it needs.
Did you know the average healthy person needs between 30 and 50 ounces of fluid per day? It sounds like a lot, but these fluids can come from more than just water. We get hydrated from fruits and veggies, as well as other drinks that we consume throughout our day. I'm always telling you to stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise, so I thought I'd go a bit more in depth about the importance of hydration!
Hydration doesn't just keep us from feeling uncomfortably thirsty; drinking enough fluids means that our bodies can function optimally. Hydration plays a role in our brain and heart function, and also helps to carry nutrients to our cells and boost our muscle performance. No wonder I've always got some hydration close by during my workouts!
Think outside the box when staying hydrated! Plain old water can get boring quickly! I love putting aloe and lemon in my water...there are so many different possibilities! Mint, berries, orange, ginger, lime...I could go on! Just be careful with drinks that contain a lot of caffeine; these dehydrate you quickly!
2. Get Plenty of Sleep
Not only getting enough sleep that is important it's about having a schedule where you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This will help keep your body in a good rhythm and allow your sleep patterns to be consistent.
As you sleep your body creates infection-fighting molecules to protect you and build your immune system. Even though it feels that sleep is not an active process it is actually a huge part in letting our bodies recover and repair. Making it actually pretty active!
Most researchers say that 7 hours is the magic number for most people, but your sleeping needs may vary. You might need more or less than 7 hours of sleep, but one thing is for sure: pulling all nighters or staying up late is not good for your energy. An irregular sleep schedule throws your body out of whack and it can be hard to recover from that during the day.
Those who do not get enough sleep are more prone to getting sick purely because their body is not getting the down time to restore itself. For me I have a great evening routine that helps me wind down after a long day, turn off and allow me to have a great nights sleep.
Here is what I do:
- nighttime relax tea with added immunity boost
- warm shower
- 5-10 minutes of reading before bed
- set the temperature to 68 degrees
Not too many steps that you can do just to get yourself prepped for the best nights sleep.
3. Exercise Regularly
Yes sleep and rest is key to fighting disease and viruses. Physical activity is just as important and nope not just for building muscles, getting a perky butt and flat abs! Activity of any kind will help you de-stress, boost your energy and we all know our live workouts make you feel happy! Plus being healthy by getting in daily movement supports a healthy immune system.
Working out increases circulation and blood flow, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding and fighting off an illness before it spreads. Also, the rise in body temperature during exercise may prevent bacteria from growing and spreading around your body, like how the body responds to some types of illness with a fever reaction.
Regular physical activity moderates the release of stress hormones which can make you more susceptible to infection - regulated stress hormones may help protect against illness. You can benefit the most from exercise by challenging your body with workouts like high-intensity interval training while allowing time for rest and recovery, though even moderate physical activity can help to reduce the occurrence of common colds.
Fat cells often produce inflammatory substances in greater amounts than needed to fight germs, and as a result, obese or overweight individuals experience elevated levels of inflammation throughout the body. This persistent state of cell reaction actually leads to a weaker immune response when exposed to infection or illness, as the body is distracted by constant immune activity.
Best way to stimulate your immune system is to do just 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise every day. So basically all you need to do is follow the BTES App Monthly Calendar. DUH! Get your daily activity in to keep your body moving. We know that movement is medicine!
4. Minimize Stress
Easier said than done I understand, especially this time of year. Our workout and meditation LIVES, if you have not joined are a great way to de stress and connect with other people who might feel like you are right now. We must protect our energy to fight our immune system because if we are constantly giving our energy away, we don't save any of it when our body needs it the most.
When you are stressed your body responds by initiating a stress response that suppresses your immune system and goes on to increasing your chance of infection or illness. Notice that stress is different for everyone which means there are ways to deal with it for everyone. We can do deep breathing, mediation, exercise, listen to a podcast or join a live.
It's no secret I use supplements and honestly I was thinking about this the other day... I don't really consider my breakfast shake a supplement to anything. In fact I see it as all the best ingredients added into a canister for me to drink. Not really supplementing for something that's the best thing for me and my body.
Just a quick thought! No supplementing cereal, eggs and yoghurt when the shake has more nutrition in it...
Supplements can fill in the pockets of your daily nutrition that you are missing. Getting a multi vitamin into your body will make sure you are reaching all your recommendations. For me I also have a daily omega 3, collagen and then on those days my body needs a boost of vitamin b-12 and c I have something for that too. If you are interested to know about areas of your nutrition we can boost, sign up for my FREE 5 Day Better Your Program! You will get paired with one of my hand picked coaches and receive a customized nutrition plan that will get you on your way to results!
Please look after yourself, take care of those people around you. Yes we want to boost our immune system and we also want to boost our mental health. There are so many things we constantly have here for you, keep showing up and you will feel better.
Love you lots