A 7-DAY PLAN TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM
Small improvements to your daily routine, meal plans and fitness aims can add up to big results.
03 Aug 2021
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time to minimise germ exposure and protect the immune system. Tip: That’s the duration of about two renditions of the Happy Birthday song, so sing while you soap up.
Have an extra portion of leafy greens. They’re rich in fibre, essential vitamins and minerals. This help neutralises free radicals and enhances immunity.
Use a foam roller for a total body self-massage. This helps reduce pro-inflammatory proteins. Inflammation, if left unchecked, can lead to impairment of the immune system.
Drink up. Your immune system gets nutrients from the bloodstream, which comprises mainly of water. Are you drinking enough water? Calculate with this formula: Body weight (in pounds) ÷2 = Minimum ounces of water to drink per day
a rainbow. Bright and colourful fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Mushrooms are also great immunity boosters.
Do a low-impact exercise for at least 30 minutes to help the immune system work efficiently. Walking, yoga and swimming are ideal.
Lack of sleep heightens your risk of infections whereas quality slumber makes T cells, a type of white blood cell that arms the body to fight off viruses, work better. Work on developing good sleep hygiene.
Up your intake of healthy fats with nuts and seeds. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are rich in Omega-3, which brings down inflammation and helps the immune system ward off pathogens.
Do at least one set (12 reps) of side to side jumps. Besides improving stability, coordination and strength, this exercise also keep the lymph system open and flowing, which helps maintain the immune system.
Catch the morning sun for at least 15 minutes. Vitamin D is essential to help regulate the immune system.
Incorporate whole grains and legumes into your meals. Besides gut-healthy fibre, they also contain B vitamins and zinc that support the immune system.
Work your glutes and tone your legs by doing squats. This move also helps enhance blood circulation, allowing white blood cells to be transported around the body and help it fight off potential illnesses.
Destress through meditation, breathing exercises, a sound bath, or sit under a shower for 5-10 minutes – basically anything that will quiet your mind for some time. Even if you don’t think you’re stressed out, there’s no harm in letting the body and mindfully relax.
Add herbs and spices to your cooking. They contain high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients, the bioavailability of which is enhanced when you use them together.
Besides building strength and improving flexibility, Pilates enhances the lymphatic and respiratory systems, both of which are crucial to the immune system.
Take a cold shower first thing in the morning to increase your white blood cells count and stimulate the immune response. Make sure the water hits your best and face.
Load up on Vitamin C through citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts and broccoli. This water-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also been shown to help with Covid-19 recovery.
Fly like Superman! Actually, just hold the exercise pose by the same name for 10 reps of 1-2 minutes each. One of its benefits is it improves circulation.
Reach out to friends and family whom you haven’t spoken to for a while. Research shows that social connection strengthens immune function, improving recovery from diseases.
Fill your plates with quality proteins like grass-fed meats and free-range eggs. Protein is crucial for immune health as they help build and maintain the cells while strengthening the body’s ability to fight infections.
Plank for 30-60 seconds. It’s a great form of strength training that works the entire body.
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