Immediately Boost Your Immune System
The swift spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world is scary for everyone. We want our studios to continue to be a place to mitigate stress and optimize your health, especially in difficult and scary times. Therefore, we’re sharing the best ways to boost your immune system, with 8 ways you can find immediate and long-term benefits for your health right now. What we do know is maintaining a regular exercise practice is more important than ever during this time. Most NB studios are operating on a limited class schedule with reduced capacity to practice safety, an abundance of sanitation between classes and proper social distancing in class. But we are still committed to providing you with access to the same dynamic exercises online with Nb TV. We are offering a free, 30 day trial to or online streaming program and will be uploading a variety of live streaming classes from studios in multiple cities as well! Sign up for your free trial here.
You first line of defense with your immune system is a healthy lifestyle. This includes all facets of your life – from sleep, stress, diet, exercise, supplements, and hygiene. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults. Here’s what you can do right now to see immediate benefits to improve your immune system and reduce your risk of getting ill.
Get moving: Exercise has tremendous effects on all aspects of the human body (i.e. your brain, heart, muscles, bones and even the gut). Any type of exercise is good for building up immunity, but a study found that after three, 30 minute sessions a week for 10 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), white blood cells called neutrophils were better able to fight off pathogens. Exercise is also associated with an increase in SCFA’s. Short Chain Fatty Acids are key to gut health and have a myriad of healing effects throughout the body, including an improved immune system (over 80% of our immune system is regulated by the gut!). Exercise can also boost your body’s feel-good chemicals and help you sleep better. Both of those are important for your immune system!
Get quality sleep: Those who sleep less than seven hours a night are almost three times more likely to develop the common cold than those that sleep over eight hours. Not getting enough sleep can lead to higher levels of a stress hormone, and it may also lead to more inflammation in your body. Aim to go to bed 30 minutes to one hour early, especially if you’re not feeling well, with the goal of getting 8 – 9 hours of sleep each night.
Stay hydrated: Drinking water will help keep your lungs moist and mucus flowing. Keeping the lungs clear is one of your first lines of defense in preventing upper respiratory infections. Limiting alcohol is also one of the most important ways to strengthen your immunity, as it affects both sleep and hydration. Opt for a mocktail, sparkling water, or kombucha instead!
Eat clean: When we’re stressed, fatigued, or ill, we tend to eat more ‘grab and go’ and fast foods. These foods are typically highly inflammatory. Limiting sugar and trans-fats not only helps your body recover quickly, it helps strengthen your immune response and microbiome, so it’s more dynamic and resilient. Lots of fruits and vegetables are key.(Bonus – the high water content in fruits and some veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes will also boost your hydration!) And a healthy gut makes the rest of you less vulnerable to bacterial and viral invaders. Make sure you’re eating pre-and-pro-biotic rich foods, like onions, oats, bananas, apples, cocoa, yogurt, kimchi, kefir, and other fermented foods. Lastly, herbs have been used for centuries to boost health due to their antibacterial and antifungal properties. Consider incorporating more garlic, cloves, cinnamon, cumin, oregano and parlsey into your diet. Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of these foods into one meal!
Reduce stress: If you’re not already meditating, start now. People who practice meditation are able to recover from physiological stress response much more quickly than those who don’t meditate. If meditation isn’t your thing, start practicing breath work. Deep breathing helps to activate the vagus nerve, which turns on the parasympathetic nervous system and helps manage anxiousness or stress. There are lots of great apps out there to help you practice both meditation and breath work, like Calm.
Supplement: If you’re not already, consider taking 5000 IUDs of Vitamin D per day. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with increased susceptibility to infection. An estimated 85% of people in the U.S. are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamins C and A are also credited with keeping your immune system strong. These herbs and supplements are also key for keeping your body resilient and resistant to illness: Glutathione, Zinc, Echinacea, Elderberry Syrup, Colloidal Silver, and Probiotics.
Steer clear of exposure: Sterilizing your environment is one of the best methods of prevention of unwanted pathogens. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, not touching your face, and limiting physical contact with others (elbow bumps anyone?) are some of the best practices for avoiding germs. When in a public place, it’s a good idea to wipe down high-touch areas, clean your hands, and cough or sneeze into your elbow. You can rest easy when working out at Neighborhood Barre that we use antimicrobial cork flooring and closed cell foam mats, which are also antimicrobial. Our equipment is and studios are cleaned daily, and we will be cleaning high-touch surface areas (door handles, barres, etc.) after each class. We ask that you use your judgement when deciding to attend classes. If you or anyone in your household has had a fever in the past 48 hours, are coughing or sneezing, or other illness symptoms, please stay home. We’d love to have you work out with us online at Nb TV here.
Laugh a little: Laughing is medicine for the soul! It curbs the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection. Just anticipating a funny event can have a positive effect on your immune system. In one study, participants were told 3 days in advance that they were going to watch a funny video and their levels of stress hormones dropped. We’re confident there’s nothing a quick break of watching cat videos on YouTube can’t fix. Seriously, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious right now, talk it out. Studies show people who feel connected to friends have stronger immunity than those who feel alone. You are not alone! We are here for you. We will continue to monitor and enforce the recommendations of the CDC and will send out additional updates locally.