4 ways to maintain a healthy immune system
Keeping your immune system healthy and strong all year round is key to preventing infection and disease. With the current COVID-19 virus pandemic taking hold, it’s especially important to bolster our immune system. There is no magic pill or food we can consume to protect us against the coronavirus, however there are many ways to help keep your immune system strong and healthy. Here are 4 tips to maintain a healthy immune system.
1. Regular Exercise
Aiming for 30-60 minutes of physical activity per day is a great way to enhance our immune system. It reduces stress, decreases inflammatory levels within the body and helps maintain a healthy weight. A combination of aerobic exercise (such as cycling, running or walking) and resistance training (strengthening exercises with weights) is ideal. Alternatively, if you do not have the necessary equipment, you could replace the resistance training with some yoga, pilates, or stretching which can be done right in your own home.
2. A Balanced Diet
Filling your plate with the appropriate nutrients can help boost the functioning of our body’s immune system. Ensuring you consume a balanced diet, with plenty of fruit and vegetables is a great start. Including enough protein, in the form of fish, eggs or nuts is also important. Remember to keep your hydration levels up and drink plenty of water. For variety, you may elect to drink 1-2 cups of green tea or use coconut water in your smoothies. You may choose to top up your regular diet with supplements, common examples include Vitamin C or Zinc which both have a positive impact when fighting off an infection. If you do wish to take any supplements, please first check with your local health professional.
3. Self Care
Take the time to unwind and look after yourself to reduce any stress or anxiety you may be experiencing. Over time, prolonged stress can have a negative impact on our body and the immune system’s ability to fight disease. To combat this, you may wish to spend some time listening to your favourite music or do some mindfulness exercise such as meditation. If you are unsure, there are many apps available such as ‘Headspace: Meditation & Sleep’ that can help. Don’t disregard your mental wellbeing, stay positive and continue to check in with your friends and family.
If you are not getting sufficient sleep at night and you are constantly tired it will compromise your health. With adequate rest, your body can reset and recharge. A regular routine before bed is important and will help with your sleeping patterns, this may include reading a book or completing a crossword before lights out. Make sure your phone or other electronic devices are turned off 30-60 minutes before sleeping.
The team at Canterbury Health Hub are here to support your overall healthcare routine. Book an appointment online today.
This article is for information purposes only. Please consult your Osteopath or primary healthcare professional for further information.