Updated: Oct 3, 2020
MOVEMENT & EXERCISE
Aside from boosting endorphins and keeping your body strong and supple, movement and light exercise is great for the immune system. This is because it stimulates the lymphatic system, the channel that distributes white blood cells throughout the body. These white blood cells fight infections, specifically viruses.
Movement needn’t be vigorous - a daily short walk, stretch or Pilates routine will do wonders for you. At 4U Pilates we are offering online access to all of our classes. So, if you’re self-isolating during this time, feel free to join us.
The field of Kinesiology also offers some practical and simple home practices for boosting the immune system.
Good nutrition is one of the cornerstones of good health and a properly functioning immune system. Here are a few basic tips:
Cut down on sugar and processed foods
Eat plenty of fruit and cooked vegetables, nuts, and seeds
Choose whole grains instead of refined white grains
Include anti-inflammatory foods and ingredients in your diet like berries, broccoli, green tea, and turmeric.
Eat foods rich in probiotics to support your gut microbiome, which in turn boosts immune function. These foods include sauerkraut and yoghurt with live cultures.
Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol, which can impede the immune system
Research has shown that without sufficient sleep, your body makes fewer cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Also, if you don’t sleep enough you’re more likely to adopt unhealthy habits during the day. So, make sure you’re getting as much sleep as you need - between 6-9 hours.
RELAXATION & STRESS RELEASE
Like lack of sleep, stress really affects our immune system. High levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, increase inflammation and disrupt our normal immune response.
It’s important to be able to relax, release stress and tension during this time (and in general!). You can release tension by doing simple breathing exercises, or you can try some of the MELT techniques you might have learnt in one of our classes.
Mental wellbeing is just as important as physical wellbeing and the two actually go hand in hand. You may be ‘physically distancing’ to avoid the spread of the virus, but you should take the time to connect with friends or loved ones on the phone or online, to avoid social isolation.
Doing exercise classes online is another way of connecting with other people. Many studios including 4U Pilates are offering online access to their usual timetable.