So we keep hearing from doctors, news outlets, social media platforms etc. that we MUST WEAR OUR MASKS. “Masks save lives.” “Masks save your life and the lives of those you come into contact with.” We know this and we are not disagreeing with this. What is not being shouted quite as loud is all the other ways that you can work to protect yourself and therefore those around you. We know much of the information regarding Covid-19 continues to change every 5 seconds but one thing seems to have been fairly consistent through all of this- the healthier you are, the lower you chances for a bad outcome if you were to contract coronavirus. That being said, there are a number of things you can do to help boost your immune system and improve your overall health to better protect you from COVID-19 and many other health issues.
Vitamin D. Low vitamin D has been scientifically proven to be associated with increased autoimmunity and increased susceptibility to infection. Conversely, by boosting our vitamin D, we can boost our immune system and help our bodies better fight off the millions of germs and viruses we come into contact with every day. You can increase your vitamin D by getting out into the sun for 30 minutes each day or through high quality supplements. With the limited regulations on the supplement industry, brand does matter. We recommend third party batch tested brands such as Pure, Thorne, Klaie Labs and Metagenics.
Magnesium. So we cannot talk about vitamin D without talking about magnesium. You can take a really expensive, high quality vitamin D but if you have low magnesium, your body will not be able to use that precious vitamin D. Magnesium assists the activation of vitamin D within the body therefore without the magnesium, your vitamin D is no good. Magnesium is also imperative for recovery, sleep quality and regulating blood sugar levels.
Stress Management. Stress plays a huge role in your body’s ability to fight off infections. The heavier your stress load, the weaker your immune system. As my dad says, “You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it.” What he means is, there are many things that happen in our lives that we have zero control over (this pandemic, getting rear ended, your grandma being diagnosed with dementia etc.) but we can control our attitude towards those things. Stress management techniques including meditation, working out, journaling, taking breaks from social media, reading and many others can help us react in a way that will be physiologically beneficial to us and our immune systems. Lucky for you, we have a library of mediations, yoga classes and workouts you can stream anytime, anywhere to help manage your stress.
Sleep. Sleep is absolutely vital for a healthy immune system. When we sleep, our bodies are hard at work repairing, cleaning and recovering from all the strain from the day before. Sleep is also when we form long term memories. According to the US National Library of Medicine, “Sleep and the circadian system are strong regulators of immunological processes.” This means essentially that sleep is vital to being able to fight off foreign invaders when they inevitably enter the body. Do your best to go to sleep and wake up and the same time each day. Shoot for 8 hours of sleep every night!
Maintain a healthy weight. Now more than ever, it is imperative to do your best to maintain a healthy weight. When it comes to Covid-19, the research straight from the CDC is showing that obesity is a major risk factor. Do your very best to maintain a whole foods diet sticking to foods that are as close to their natural form as possible. These foods include: fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, eggs, high quality meats (organic and grass fed) and legumes. For delicious yet healthy whole food based meals, head to our recipes page!
Michelle was a diver at the University of North Carolina a Chapel Hill where she majored in Exercise and Sport Science. Since graduation she has been very active in the fitness and nutrition world. She is a certified level 1 nutrition coach through Precision Nutrition. She is currently the director of corporate wellness for SweatNet.