Did you know that the immune system begins developing in utero?
Or that the gut is the foundation of the immune system?
The network of tissues, cells, and organs that make up your immune system is your body’s natural defense system.
They protect your body against fungus, bacteria, parasites, and other disease-causing invaders.
Unfortunately, these invaders are found all around us.
They’re in the air we breathe, the things we touch, and even in our food. But if you take care of your immune system, it'll take care of you by fighting off these potentially harmful threats.
Yes, you're born with an innate immune response, but you need to put in work to take care of it to keep it strong, healthy, and functioning at the most optimal levels.
Keep reading to learn more on how to keep your immune system strong!
TIP 1 - ACTIVE LIFESTYLES STIMULATE IMMUNE CELLS
Physical activities aren’t just for helping you minimize stress and build muscles. They constitute a crucial part of healthy living and are vital for strong immune systems.
Regular exercise can help rid your airways and lungs of bacteria.
Moderate activities stimulate the T helper type 1 (Th1) cytokine response. Th1 cytokines are autoimmune cells responsible for eliminating bacteria and other intercellular parasites.
Your lungs and heart work harder to supply your muscles with additional oxygen and nutrients during physical activity. The resulting lymph and blood flow also increases the circulation of specialized immune cells. A 45-minute walk is sufficient to have these cells floating around for three hours.
Whereas your immune system responds immediately to exercise, the immune response eventually subsides.
Regular exercise also helps to reduce your body’s secretion of stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline.
When you’re stressed, your immune system’s ability to fight off infection reduces, increasing your susceptibility to disease.
Corticosteroid lowers your lymphocyte numbers, thereby reducing your immune system’s effectiveness.
3 EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
Low-impact exercises such as aerobics are a great way of boosting your body’s natural protection mechanism. A low-impact exercise is any form of exercise that’s gentle and easy on your body.
Aerobic exercises help your body reduce chronic stress, enhance blood flow, and boost immune functions.
- Kettlebell Training
"A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less. And if they did get sick, it was for a shorter duration, and their symptoms were milder."
Similarly, vigorous aerobic activities such as cycling or running also benefit your immune system.
Dynamic exercises promote faster blood circulation and the release of immune cells.
Moreover, the rise in body temperature during these activities suppresses bacteria from growing.
Researchers have cited strength training activities such as weightlifting for their health benefits.
- Kettlebell Training
- Power Lifting
These vigorous exercises elevate psychological stress and reduce the risk of developing heart disease, which in the long run gives you more energy and strengthens your immune system.
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
HIIT involves carrying out an exercise vigorously and then resting.
The time you spend on an activity should be the same as the time you spend resting afterward. For instance, you could jog up a flight of stairs for 20 minutes and rest for 20 minutes.
Very few exercises can cause your heart to pump as hard as HIIT activities. The increased heart activity and blood flow act as your immune system’s steroids.
However, given the dangers of excessive exercise, you should only do HIIT exercises a few times every week.
6 TRAINING STRATEGIES TO STRENGTHEN YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM
To reap the maximum benefits of exercise on your immune system, you have to take the right approach. Below are six strategies that can help boost your immune system through training.
1. CONSISTENCY IS KEY
Consistency is crucial when it comes to exercising because it produces better results than one-time activities. It builds momentum and speeds up your achievement of a robust immune system.
2. INCREASE INTENSITY
Once you achieve a certain workout rhythm, try and increase your workout time gradually. Routinely increasing the intensity of exercise boosts the effectiveness of the activity. However, do not push too hard as this could increase your risk of injury.
3. REST AND RECOVER
Including recovery time in your exercise routine helps your muscles heal and repair.
Here are some ways to incorporate active rest and recovery into your training schedule:
- Low Intensity Walking/Jogging
Also important is...sleep! Good quality sleep will help your body recover.
4. COMBINE AEROBICS AND STRENGTH TRAINING
Although you may enjoy a single workout style, integrating different techniques is better for your immune system.The CDC recommends integrating up to 15 minutes of aerobic exercise into strengthening activities for good health.
5. GET OUTDOORS
...and soak in that vitamin D!
The benefits of working out outdoors:
- Fresh Air
- Boosts Mood and Energy
- Relieves Stress
- Vitamin D
Getting outdoors can add variety to your workout routine and help you train in other ways that you wouldn't be able to indoors. Like:
- Trail Running
...to name a few.
Outdoor workouts help your body produce Vitamin D through sunlight exposure. Vitamin D strengthens your immune system and is essential in promoting healthy bones and muscles, mood, energy, and cardiovascular health.
TIP 2 - EAT A BALANCED, NUTRIENT DENSE DIET FOR A HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Take care of your gut and immune system by eating well and fueling your body with nutrient-dense foods.
No matter what type of diet you follow, these tips will help keep you on track and keep your immune system functioning at optimal levels.
A healthy diet containing whole foods, vitamins, and unprocessed foods lowers disease risk while boosting your immune system.
Here are threes tips on how you can enhance your immune system with a balanced diet.
EAT FOODS THAT ARE VITAMIN RICH
Fresh fruits and vegetables are a rich source of vitamins that your body needs to develop a strong immune system.
The following table shows the foods that you should eat to get specific vitamins.
|Vitamin C||Spinach, papaya, Brussels sprouts, bell peppers, kale|
|Vitamin E||Hazelnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oils, soybean oil|
|Vitamin A||Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, dark leafy vegetables, cantaloupe, butternut squash|
|Vitamin D||Mackerel, salmon, tuna, milk, cereals, and orange juice|
|Folic acid (vitamin B9)||Enriched rice, enriched pasta, and enriched bread|
|Vitamin B6||Chicken, cold-water fish such as tuna and salmon, green leaves, chickpeas|
CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS OVER REFINED GRAINS
- Brown rice
Whole grains are rich in magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B and a much better option than refined grains that are heavily processed, stripping the original grains of all their nutrients.
If you can’t access whole grains, you should look for enriched and fortified grains.
Enriching of grains means adding nutrients that may have been lost during milling.
Meanwhile, fortifying involves adding minerals and certain vitamins that don’t naturally occur in the grains.
IMPROVE YOUR GUT HEALTH WITH FIBER, PREBIOTICS, AND PROBIOTICS
All disease begins in the gut, so make sure you're taking care of it!
A significant proportion of our body’s immune system is found in the gut area. That’s why it’s crucial to consume foods that promote gut microbiome activity.
A high-fiber plant-based diet, together with lots of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits, supports these microbes.
The fiber in the diet is sometimes referred to as prebiotics because it’s food for these beneficial microbes.
Probiotic foods such as natural yogurt have useful live bacteria. Thus, ensure that you regularly consume prebiotics and probiotics.
TIP 3 - USE NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS TO FILL IN THE GAPS OF YOUR DIET
It is not always possible to get all the essential nutrients your body needs for a strong and healthy immune system.
That’s why our Immunity Bundle offers you various natural dietary supplements.
It’s a super-stack of supplements that will boost your immune system naturally and keep it prepared for anything!
Depending on the nutrients you need, you could choose between Veggies, Gut Heath, Multi, D3, Vitamin C, and Zinc to boost your immune function.
Immune Bundle also has you covered if you’re into beneficial diets such as the Keto or Paleo. What’s more, the Immune System Bundle superfoods are non-GMO, soy-free, and dairy-free.