If by chance you haven’t heard, coronavirus is a pretty big deal right now.
And rightfully so…
So far, Coronavirus has claimed over 3000 lives. Which is horrible. What’s worse is most of those deaths came from the elderly with significantly impaired immune systems.
This doesn’t mean that younger people can’t be significantly impacted, it just normally works out that younger people have healthier immune systems.
Which brings us to the main point of this article. Your immune system is your best defense against the coronavirus.
Before we get any further into that, let’s first explore what the immune system actually does…
Think of your immune system as your body’s defense system against germs, viruses, bacteria, etc. Its main responsibility is keeping you healthy. Our immune system is essential for our survival.
When the immune system becomes compromised in any way, so does our health.
Now it doesn’t work like flipping the on/off switch on your immune system. Your immune system is always active and alert, but it can become weakened over time through many factors.
Things That Weaken The Immune System:
Not getting enough sleep
Have you ever noticed how bad you feel after a night of poor sleep? You go through that brain fog, your body hurts, you can’t focus, you get headaches, etc.
Sleep is not only important for your mental well-being, it’s also crucial for your physical health.
The more sleep you get, the more your body stays regulated and operating optimally. It creates a rhythm. The more your body is in rhythm, the better it can perform.
When you start changing the rhythm, the immune system can’t always adjust. And if you stay out of rhythm for too long, the immune system will weaken quickly.
2. Poor Diet
Nutrition plays a massive role in the way your body looks and performs, but did you know that it’s also very important to the immune system?
Eating or drinking too much sugar (carbs) actually reduces the immune system’s ability to fight bacteria. Depending how much sugar you take in, your immune system could be impaired for up to a few hours after eating – plenty of time for some stray bacteria to enter your system.
3. Lack of Exercise
It’s no secret that exercising is good for you, but it does remain a partial secret that exercise can significantly strengthen your immune system.
If you don’t exercise at all, you immune system can become weakened by daily life factors and could result in you getting sick more often.
When your immune system is strengthened via exercise, it becomes more resilient to foreign bacteria and can prevent illnesses that less healthy individuals may contract.
4. You’re Super Stressed
Not only does stress drain you of your energy, it also attacks your immune system.
Your body releases the stress hormone cortisol when you are going through periods of stress. Think of stress like an evil villain and cortisol its minions.
Cortisol increases the inflammation throughout your body. In short spurts, this can actually be beneficial to your immune system. However, if prolonged inflammation occurs, your immune system begins to fatigue from fighting off all the extra inflammation. This results in a weakened immune system.
So how do you strengthen your immune system?
Develop healthy sleep habits
Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This will help put your body in a rhythm and will encourage regulation throughout your body. Think of it like setting your biological clock.
Some additional ways to do this are to engage in calming behaviors before bed such as: meditation, reading, going for a peaceful walk, listening to calming music, journaling, etc.
It’s important to stay away from any backlit screens (phones, tablets, tv’s). These artificial lights actually make it harder to fall asleep
Some good supplements you can take to help with sleep are our FitFX Labs PM Fat Burners, which have natural ingredients in them designed to promote a deeper, more restful sleep. (if you need some of these, come swing by any of our locations and we’ll hook you up!)
2. Clean up your diet
This doesn’t mean you have to do a complete overhaul. All we’re suggesting is that you start incorporating more foods that are likely to boost your immune system. These are foods with lots of vitamins and minerals that can strengthen and prevent your immune system from weakening.
Think of replacing your sugary carbs with fruits and incorporating vegetables into your meals.
In addition, cut back on sugar as much as you can. Eliminate sodas and any other sugary drinks that are supplying empty calories to your body.
At Legion, we have our own meal planning system designed to help anybody start taking control of their diet. You can start learning some of our recommendations here.
3. Start exercising
You don’t have to run out and find the hardest workout program around and start training like you’re going to the olympics.
But what you should do is start incorporating exercise into your daily life with some simple guidelines.
Start slow by performing daily exercises that you know you can do – walking, jogging, stretching, bodyweight movements, etc.
Believe it or not, you can get a great workout in without ever leaving your home, so there’s no excuse that you can’t afford a gym – you can do it anywhere!
That said, gyms can significantly help you reach your goals faster and more efficiently. If you need extra instruction, or just want to pick a coaches brain about what you should (or shouldn’t) do at home, come join us for a free class!
4. Focus on YOU!
Most of our stress comes from focusing our attention on other people’s needs or worrying about our future. The more we do this, the less time we spend on ourselves and what WE actually need.
Start by making a list of all the things in your life that you believe to be a priority. Get really honest, and scratch off the things that you’re making a priority that really aren’t that important.
Find space in this list to add in something that will give you joy or peace of mind and allow you to relax or have fun. You need something in here to break up the daily monotony of routine.
Most stress can be eliminated by doing two things:
- Spend time each day doing something that you love
- Make yourself a priority
These aren’t always easy to do, but if you can make them a routine you will start to reap the rewards.
*If you need a little kick in the butt for motivation or how to make yourself a priority, listen to this!
So What Now?
The worst thing you can do in the midst of an illness epidemic is nothing. Disregarding your own health is a surefire way to open yourself up to exposure.
Start focusing on what you eat and drink, get some exercise, prioritize yourself and your sleep and you should have a fighting chance at preventing the Coronavirus, as well as all other viruses, whenever it comes your way.