Turning on the news for even five minutes is enough to cause many people to worry. A surge in online searches such as “ways to boost your immune system” or “hacks to stay healthy” have led to widespread misinformation.
There are no magic foods or pills to protect you from a virus but, there are some ways to improve your immune system and ensure that it has the best chance at fighting off any virus you come in contact with.
Vitamin D. Our immune systems love it, but many of us lack it. Your immune system relies on Vitamin D to fight off illnesses. Adequate levels of Vitamin D will not protect you from getting a virus, but it could reduce the severity of the illness and make recovery easier.
Social distancing means we are spending a lot of time in our homes, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get outside at least once a day. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will help with your Vitamin D intake.
For people who live in areas that tend to be cold and cloudy during these months, there are certain foods that are high in Vitamin D. You could also talk to your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement if you feel your levels are particularly low.
Focus On Your Sleep
Experts suggest people get 7-9 hours of sleep a night, but with packed work and social schedules, many people are lucky to get that amount. But, a sleep-deprived immune system does not work as effectively. Research shows that one night of poor sleep can reduce your immune cells by as much as 70%. Now is the perfect time to assess your sleep habits and make changes if you feel they are needed. Stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule, even if you are working from home. Limit screen time an hour before bed and try something such as journaling or meditation instead.
Lower Your Stress
Stress can make you more susceptible to illness. Your body does a better job fighting off illnesses when it is not under stress. But right now, everyone seems to be feeling extra stressed and anxious.
Take breaks from the news and only rely on trusted sources. Find time everyday to take a walk, curl up with your favorite book, meditate or do whatever it is that makes you feel more relaxed. While it may be difficult to completely eliminate stress during these uncertain times, there are ways to reduce it.
It’s hard to find the motivation to get up and do an at-home workout when you are stuck in your house (speaking from experience here), but exercise supports your immune system by reducing inflammation and supporting infection fighting cells.
MYX offers a wide variety of workouts on and off the bike, so you can change your workout routine each day. Throughout this week, we will also be offering classes on our YouTube channel that will help you to ground your body and mind. New classes will come out at 6 AM every day. Even if it is only for a few minutes, aim to move your body every day. It will help your immune system and boost your mood!