No one likes getting sick, but coming down with a cold or flu can also sidetrack your fitness plans for a week or more while you recuperate. Taking care of your immune system can help to prevent illness, or at least shorten your recovery time if you do get sick. These seven practices can help to boost your immune system, ward off illness, and keep you healthier in the long term as well.
Sleep well. Inadequate sleep can disrupt hormones, increase stress, and weaken your immune system. Take the necessary steps to get eight hours of quality sleep each night, going to bed and waking at approximately the same times each day.
Eat your fruits and veggies. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins and antioxidants directly from their natural sources. In particular, aim for appropriate sources of vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E. Supplementing with extra vitamin C can boost your immune system too.
Avoid lifestyle factors that can decrease immunity. Drinking alcohol, smoking, and eating too much sugar or processed (white) flour can increase inflammation in the body. Keep these behaviors to a minimum or cut them out entirely (for best results).
Address your stress. When you’re under chronic stress, hormones are thrown out of balance and inflammation increases. This keeps your immune system busy fighting you, instead of foreign invaders like flu viruses. Take the appropriate steps to identify sources of stress in your life and eliminate it.
Get outside. Exercising outdoors will expose you to natural light, which increases vitamin D production in your body. Plus, you can reduce stress and boost your mood at the same time.
Wash your hands regularly. Wash your hands each time you use the restroom, and before preparing foods or eating. Most germs are transferred from surfaces to our bodies via our hands.
Avoid touching your face. Those reports circulating on social media are true. Touching your face transfers germs from your hands to your nose, mouth, and eyes, which make easy entry points for viruses and bacteria.
Hopefully you can make it the rest of the way through cold and flu season without experiencing any significant illness, or sidetracking your fitness plan. But if you do get sick, remember to rest so that your body can recuperate.
For more information on a healthy lifestyle, call us to schedule an appointment. We can help you with a medical weight loss plan, fitness regimen, anti-aging protocol, and more.