As early as childhood, most of us were taught the importance of having a healthy and strong immune system. While few individuals later understand the functionality of the immune system, the concept of “living a clean, toxin-free life” is embedded in some of our brains long before we even know what that all means. And even if we go through most of our lives following a healthy lifestyle, there are those great unknown agents of change that strike us and can change our perspective: enter COVID-19.
A healthy immune system is vital when it comes to not only keeping illness and diseases like COVID-19 at bay, but also for combatting them once they have entered the body. As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections that ultimately lead to illness. There are several ways to build a virus-combative immune system but before we move forward with some tips and suggestions, it’s important to understand that our immune system is simply that: a system, a complex network of tissues, cells, organs, and proteins. It’s not a single entity.
That being said, here are some ways to build or improve your body’s immune system naturally:
Manage your stress levels and get enough sleep. Although these are two different functions, they are closely interrelated. Just as the immune and nervous systems are interdependent, so, too, are stress and sleep. High levels of stress can lead to lack of sleep, and low levels of sleep can lead to stress. But for the sake of offering tips on each, let’s move forward separating the two.
Activities that help you manage your stress include meditation, exercise, journaling, yoga, and other mindfulness practices, and a great way to try them out is available to our subscribers on Fitbit Premium. There, you’ll find virtual ways to engage in some great workouts (engaging in moderate exercise regularly is also an immunity booster), take on a challenge or two, and have several mindfulness exercises that include meditations and helpful breathing techniques right at your fingertips.
For sleep management, Fitbit Premium is a great tool for users to log in their sleep for the purpose of self-monitoring, assessing, and leveraging their data. On average, each adult should try to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Oftentimes, a good night’s sleep can simply require some minor adjustments in habits, such as turning off all electronics, reducing any fluid intake, and cutting back on any fat-rich and processed foods two to three hours prior to bedtime.
Keep it clean. A healthy and robust gut microbiome (microbes in your intestines that are critical to your health) is typically the result of eating more whole plant foods. These include fresh, clean fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes all known for their antioxidants and high nutrient-density that can protect your body from harmful bacteria. You can find some great, healthy recipes here on the Fitbit blog.
Keeping it clean also refers to cutting back on certain toxins and stimulants like tobacco and alcohol. If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Individuals who smoke regularly should consider cutting back significantly, or a better healthy lifestyle choice might be quitting altogether for best long-term results.
The key to building and maintaining optimal health begins with making and sticking with healthy lifestyle changes that also happen to include Fitbit’s four keystone habits: activity, sleep, mindfulness, and nutrition. In addition, consider working with a Fitbit health coach, who can help you to explore those options and what that might look like for you.
Stay hopeful and stay safe.
No supplement, diet or lifestyle modification is proven to protect you from COVID-19. Please remember to follow your local government COVID-19 guidelines.
A version of this post was originally published by Madeleine Jomolca on the Fitbit Health Solutions blog.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.
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