With the growing global concern about Coronavirus (and simply the fact that we're flirting with spring cold and flu season) it's a good time to talk about ways you can boost your immune system!
There are supplements you can take, teas you can drink and oils you can sniff, but the science around supplementation and products is a little hit or miss.
Products seem to work for some people and not work for others... and they can be expensive!
We're going to focus on other things you can do to help your body be strong and resilient in the face of viruses and bacteria!
5 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Immune System
1. Improve Lymphatic Flow. You know about your circulatory system (the blood and stuff) ... but your lymphatic system is an entire system dedicated to bathing tissues, carting off waste products and helping your white blood cells do their jobs more effectively! It flows from bottom to top and doesn't have a pump (like your heart) so YOU can help it function better with:
Exercise. Move around! Walking, running, yoga, swimming and calisthenics are great ways to stimulate lymph movement.
Inversion. Flip upside down! If you're not a headstand or handstand person, you can do a gentle legs-up-the-wall pose for 3-8 minutes for similar effects.
Brushing. Take a wash cloth or body brush and for 2-3 minutes every day, use light strokes to brush the skin starting at your ankles and wrists, moving toward your heart.
2. Breathe. In addition to being another great stimulator of lymphatic flow, effective breathing will help you manage incoming threats, deal with existing stress and improve overall system health.
3. SLEEP. We cannot stress enough how important sleep is when you're faced with germs! If your body is worn down / not recovering from your daily stressors, training sessions and requirements, there is a MUCH higher risk of becoming ill. So set your bedtime for 30 min earlier and - if possible - your wake time for 15-30 min later and get some shut eye.
4. Nutrition. Not sure what to eat to support your body? The usual "eat good food. lots of cooked plants." and cutting back on alcohol and processed stuff is a great start! We also highly recommend tracking your nutrition in something like Cronometer for a few days. Then look at your MACROnutrient levels (are you getting enough fat / protein / carbohydrates?) and your MICROnutrient levels (are you getting enough vitamins and minerals?) It's a great way to learn where to add supplements to support your body in personalized ways.
5. Stress Relief. When your body is busy dealing with emotional, physical and mental stress, its resources are divided, leaving your defenses down. Find 10-60 minutes EVERY day to engage in something that helps you feel calm, happy and connected.
Try: a meditation app, a walk outside in the sunshine or a coloring book ... or alternatively, punching a pillow or punching bag, finding somewhere you can just yell for a few minutes or vent productively with a trusted friend or professional.
Panic isn't helpful. But being proactive IS! At the studio, we're working to make sure that equipment and hands are disinfected regularly, that clients have the opportunity to video chat sessions when there's a potential for illness and that our clients' health comes FIRST.
If you're working from home and want some ways to move around and stay engaged, let us know and we'll set you up with a video consultation or some training recommendations. If you're out and about and want to a health consultation, we're here.
Take really good care of yourselves, friends!
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