Boost your immunity in three easy steps

-Mar 16, Hannah Hargrave , Health -

You can boost your immunity, better your body and make sick days a thing of the past in three easy steps.

It’s frustrating to be the person who gets hit with coughs, colds and sniffle going around, while others seem to dodge the sickness bullet every time. But instead of being jealous, why not steal their tricks? Because a healthy immune system isn’t just about luck, and in three simple steps you could give yours a big boost and help bid sick days goodbye.

1. Exercise

There’s no end to the health benefits of regular exercise and a better immune system is one of them. Just as your heart, lungs and muscles get stronger when you get your blood pumping, so does your immunity. 

It’s been shown that the cells in your body which attack bacteria work slower in people who don’t do much physical activity. So if you exercise you’re better equipped to battle the bacteria which can make you sick.

Not only that but exercise releases the feel good endorphins which lift your mood. This reduces stress, which can hit your body’s defense mechanisms hard. 

And let’s not forget consistent workouts can aid sleep, and your immune system will definitely thank you for that.

You don’t have to go crazy with your workouts to reap the rewards either. Half an hour of moderate exercise a day is great, and this can be done with a brisk walk or even three ten-minute mini workouts.

Try to carve out a little bit of time from your day to be more active and you’ll hopefully find you’ll spend less time in bed with a cold. 

Related: Six ways to squeeze a little more exercise into your day

2. Eat

The fruit bowl shouldn’t just come out when you’re feeling under the weather, because poor diet is likely a big reason you landed in your sick bed in the first place. 

Your body and your immune system rely on the right balance of vitamins and minerals to function at it’s best, and if you load up on processed foods and refined sugars it can’t do its job properly.

Unhealthy foods worsen sleep, stress and digestion which have a knock-on effect on your immune system. 

A balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains beats any fad eating regimes and there are even some immune system boosting foods you can throw into the mix. 

Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson shared with Lumity her top picks for foods which pack a punch against cold and flu. 

  • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, kiwis, pineapple, mango, berries and papaya. 
  • Zinc – pumpkin seeds, lentils, cashews, quinoa, mushrooms and blueberries 
  • Probiotics – kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, kefir, live yoghurt and kimchi
  • Vitamin D – sardines, mackerel, egg yolks and mushrooms which have been grown in sunlight
  • B Vitamins – broccoli, spinach, kale and green beans
  • Herbs and spices – chilli, garlic and turmeric 

Don’t forget that Lumity’s Morning and Night Supplements contribute to a healthy immune system too. The two-step formulas for women and men contain vitamins A, C and D, plus zinc and selenium, and can help improve your overall wellbeing when taken as part of your healthy lifestyle. 

3. Sleep

When your body is run down and not rested, it’s more likely you’ll succumb to the sniffles. You should be aiming for between seven and nine hours of quality sleep per night so you can rest and repair efficiently. When you don’t get enough shut eye your body makes fewer cytokines. These are the proteins which target inflammation and infection to help make an effective immune response. 

Also just as diet and exercise reduce stress levels, so does decent sleep, so it’s well worth making sleep a priority.

You don’t have to accept being “a bad sleeper” as there are numerous ways you can improve your sleep habits and in turn your health.

Harnessing your circadian rhythm – also known as your body clock – will have a huge impact. To do this you should abide by a strict bedtime routine so your body can prepare properly for rest. This means switching off blue light emitting devices, curbing the late night snacks and winding down. 

Just as you should go to bed at roughly the same time at night, you should rise at the same time in the morning too. And remember retraining your body to sleep may take a little time, but it’ll be well worth it in the long run.

For more tips for a good night’s sleep see what expert Dr. Neil Stanley shared with Lumity and discover how a supplement can help you sleep too.

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