6 Tips to Improve Health and your Immune system During Lockdown
Unprecedented seems to be the word ringing from the rooftops during the coronavirus outbreak. With over 20% of the global population in lockdown, our team at Future Health Training have decided to share our immune system boosting cheat sheet with you.
We have come together drafting 6 tips you can adopt, improving not only your immune system but also maintaining optimal physical and psychological health during our time as home-dwelling hermits.
Breathing may seem like the most natural exercise, however the moment someone mentions breathing, we naturally and almost immediately shift our awareness to our breath taking a deep inhale.
“Conscious breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, which in turn reduces blood pressure, which in turn lowers the risk of stroke and improves cardiovascular health. It’s also good for digestion and general immunity, both of which are impaired by stress” quotes a reporter from the Guardian after interviewing Wim Hof, a Dutch endurance athlete.
Spending 10 minutes of your day paying close attention and breathing deeply into the bottom of your diaphragm, hyper oxygenating the body will not only increase immunity but also regulate the secretion of cortisol, the bodies stress hormone.
Yoga & Stretching
From relieving anxiety to increasing energy and from enhancing flexibility to maintaining a balanced metabolism, yoga has long-lasting, wonderful effects on our bodies and overall health.
The NHS endorses yoga by demonstrating that a “regular yoga practice is beneficial for people with high blood pressure, heart disease, aches and pains – including lower back pain – depression and stress”.
With the sofa being the most popular place for a lockdown, lower back pain is likely to be a common problem. Whether morning or evening, spending 20 minutes a day stretching will drastically decrease your chances of lockdown induced aches and pains.
Walking, running or cycling
Boris Johnson has permitted British citizens one hour of daily exercise outside of the home. These exercises could include cycling, running or simply walking. Our team of trained professionals here at FHT recommend alternating between exercises to maintain balance.
Whether it’s time, distance or speed, we can use the outdoor restrictions to our advantage by adopting the ‘exercise target mindset’ and thinking “how far can I run in one hour” or “how much distance can I cover in that hour”. With this intention, we can develop our endurance and stamina to cover more distance within our permitted exercise time.
Research has uncovered a link between regular moderate exercise and a strong immunity, however evidence from Garry Palmer M.D suggests that over 90 minutes of high-intensity exercise stimulates the body producing hormones that temporarily lower the immune system leaving athletes vulnerable for 72 hours after exercise.
This clearly highlights balance, a deeply woven thread throughout all aspects of life. We recommend being mindful over how long you are exercising to maintain strength of immunity during this outbreak.
Eating nutrient-rich food
Spending a large amount of time at home can lead to bad eating habits, yet because time is now more abundant, we also have the opportunity to spice things up and put some love into what we’re cooking.
Adding more garlic, ginger and perhaps honey to your diet will increase your immune system, however did you know “Curcumin, the natural compound in turmeric, responsible for its vibrant colour is a potent anti-inflammatory compound. It has also been shown to boost immune cell activity and enhance antibody responses” writes Cynthia Sass from health.com.
Why not cook up your favourite curry, adding turmeric, black pepper (to significantly increase the curcumin bioavailability) and a double portion of garlic and ginger to give your immune system a boost.
Sleep & Rest
Although it’s tempting to indulge in late-night movies, maintaining regular sleep patterns and achieving 8 hours of quality sleep is highly important for optimal immune functionality.
“Natural killer cells (T cells) are a critical part of your immune defence arsenal and play a crucial role in keeping cancer cells at bay” says sleep expert Mathew Walker, author of the revolutionary book ‘Why We Sleep’. He continues by explaining how one single night of limited sleep (4 hours) can reduce these cells by up to 76%.
In a time where a strong immune system is imperative, making sure we achieve quality sleep is the foundation of maintaining all of the bodies core immune functions.
Looking for more?
We know exercising can be difficult without having someone guiding and encouraging you to push the boundaries, so we have decided to offer a new wave of personal training sessions to accommodate this problem.
These are conducted digitally through Zoom, Skype or Facetime and are aimed at not only holding you accountable for your exercise but are designed at helping you become stronger, healthier and happier during this time of crisis.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free consultation.