Strengthen Your Immune System with a Healthy Diet and Exercise
By Kim Farmer
The time is now to boost your immune system! Naturally protecting yourself from COVID-19 or other illnesses must be a priority. The immune system is responsible for protecting your body against outside factors, such as bacteria, viruses and diseases. Your immune system is a type of circulatory system, but it doesn’t have a pumping action like your blood to help it move through your body. The immune system relies on muscle action to remove waste and toxins from your body and the movement of the lymphatic system to help keep white blood cells moving in order for them to effectively kill off the viruses and bacteria. The strength of your immune system depends on several factors including your diet and nutrition and physical exercise. The following tips will help you maintain a healthy immune system with a healthy diet and exercise.
A Healthy Diet is Necessary for a Healthy Immune System
Eating a healthy diet is crucial for maintaining an optimal immune system. Your diet should include fresh vegetables and fruits as well as plenty of whole grains and the healthy omega-3 fats that are found in fish and flaxseeds. Natural resources such as onion and garlic are great for flavoring foods and they contain natural anti-inflammatory properties, which are beneficial for fighting infections. When you have excess sugar in your bloodstream it binds to the proteins in your body, which prevents normal function, which can suppress your immune system and encourage inflammation that leads to certain diseases and early aging. It is also best to avoid simple sugars that are often found in candy, cake and white bread; instead snack on complex carbohydrates, such as nuts that prevent uneven spikes in the blood sugar. Including probiotics in your diet are beneficial for helping your immune system fight infections, allergies and asthma. It is also important to stay hydrated. Your body depends on the water you consume to flush out the toxins as well as to carry essential nutrients throughout the cells in your body.
How Does Exercise Benefit the Immune System?
The immune system is dependent on the movement of your lymphatic system and muscles to function correctly. Walking or jogging are effective exercises for building a healthy immune system. These types of exercise help your calf muscles contract, which then pumps the lymph fluid and enables it to move through your body. The lymph fluid is what carries the protective white blood cells through your body and carries out the waste. Walking is one of the easiest exercise routines to do, because you can do it indoors or outdoors. If the weather is bad and you are unable to go outdoors, simply walking around your house for about 20 minutes will get your blood moving, stretch your muscles and keep both your immune system and your body in shape. If you are new to walking or jogging, it is recommended that you start off slow with about five minutes and gradually increase the time until you are walking/jogging for 30 minutes each day. Exercising consistently will significantly improve your circulatory system, your lymphatic system, tone your muscles and increase the oxygen in blood flow.
During this time of wide-range illness, it is important to take control of your health to avoid sickness and dependence on medication which typically comes along with side effects. Try to commit to making one small change per day to help your body heal naturally when or if the time comes. Remember to stretch before and after exercising, take your time and get familiar with a routine that is comfortable for you and check with your physician before starting any exercise regimen.
Editor’s note: Kim Farmer of Mile High Fitness & Wellness offers in-home personal training, online nutrition coaching and corporate wellness solutions. For more information, visit www.milehighfitness.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org