Immune System 101 (Part 2)
Immune health – the way you should look at it
1. Your immune system is an amazing, intelligent tool for protecting you from viruses and disease.
2. It does not need you to ‘boost it’ or ‘supercharge it’. In fact, doing so can make you very sick.
3. To really help your immune system work to its full potential you should do things that won’t weaken your immune system or leave you unnecessarily vulnerable.
Here are some of the key ways that you can support your immune system
We will go into these in more detail in seperate articles in this series but here is a quick overview:
1. Eat foods that heal you, not foods that steal from you
Eat a healthy, balanced diet. Limit processed foods and junk food. Eat plenty of protein, and good vegetables. To support a healthy diet, take a Omega 3 supplement, a good multivitamin, probiotics and a Vitamin D supplement (but do not rely on them). For information, check out Part 3 of this series (coming soon).
2. Limit your stress levels
Stress disarms your immune system and prevents it from working properly. That is the consistent finding from over 40 years of studies. Find ways to minimise or better cope with stressful times. Don’t worry, we will help you with that in Part 4 of this series.
3. Sleep well
Sleep deprivation can really mess with your immune system. For one, it reduces the immune systems ability to create the right antibodies to fight infection. It also prevents your immune cells from getting to your lymph nodes (where they play an active role in fighting off sickness). Aim to sleep from 10pm-6am for optimal body and brain repair. We will show you how to improve your sleep in Part 5 of this series.
4. Movement matters
Exercise, especially when combined with better diet and sleep and less stress, is a key part of helping your immune system to soar. Whether you like to cycle, run, lift weights, climb mountains or surf, aim to move your body 3-4 times per week. Of course, you must get plenty of recovery time in after you have trained. We look into this in Part 6.
5. Some other ways to support your immune system
There are some other things that you should / should not do, to help your immune system function well. Drinking plenty of good water is one of them. We will go through them all in Part 7 of this series.
Remember, you might get sick from time to time, even with a healthy immune system. Any pill or person that tells you otherwise is lying. But a healthy immune system will, in the case of a novel virus, fight back and win. To battle Covid-19, your first line of defence is washing your hands frequently, being smart about social contact and avoiding touching your face. A healthy immune system will take care of the rest.
Important note: If you have a immune suppressing disease like diabetes or cancer, please follow the advice of your doctor and/or practitioner. They may prescribe supplements to help your immune system. This article discusses the more general problem of ‘boosting’ healthy immune systems. That said, the lifestyle changes we suggest in subsequent articles will be a big help to you as well.
I am going to be honest. Being a Royal Marine Commando taught me more about health and fitness than all of my personal training courses combined. That’s no criticism of the teaching, rather a nod to the fact that health and fitness is a way of life in the Royal Marines because our lives depended on it.
Saxony was desperate to lose weight. At 40% body fat, she felt unhealthy and nowhere near her physical potential. She had trained with a number of personal trainers before but they couldn’t help her achieve the transformation she wanted. Here’s how she got down to 20% body fat in just 16 weeks
Most of us will struggle to find the time for exercise occasionally, and that’s perfectly ok – life happens. As a business owner and parent, I understand how time constraints can impact your health and fitness. I often have to remind myself that my health and fitness directly contribute to my business productivity and life.