Self-care isn’t selfish. A regular self-care practice that boosts your well-being means you have more to give where it matters most. No matter how jammed your daily to-do list is, shoring up your health is a must. Current times show that now more than ever, taking care of your health is essential. In whatever ways you can manage, make sure to make time for you each day and nurture your body and mind.
When it comes to kicking immunity into high gear, several key factors come into play. Stress, less-than-stellar nutrition, and underlying health issues can all affect your immune system. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), your immune system is a complex network of interconnected biological processes that keeps infections at bay. When your immune system detects invaders, it mobilizes to kick them out. A potent routine of ongoing self-care habits can make all the difference when it comes to raising the bar on your immunity.
Harvard Health notes that a successful immunity-boosting strategy addresses your body’s health on multiple levels. Fortunately, an all-natural approach works best — there’s a lot you can do each day to help keep your body strong. Whether your daily regimen is hours-long, or as low maintenance as possible, a few key strategies can be just the upgrade you need.
Our Top 10 Immunity-Boosting Ideas During Quarantine and Beyond
Eat the Rainbow
Eating a wide array of fruits and vegetables is a no-brainer when it comes to staying healthy. And assembling a colorful plate means that you’re getting loads of different antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to help keep your body strong. When it comes to maintaining your health over time, it’s important to remember the simple power of healthy, plant-rich nutrition. And if you have access to local or organic produce, go for it.
Limit Added Sugars
Eating too much-processed sugar is like hitting the snooze button on your immune system cells. While an occasional sweet treat isn’t the end of the world, try limiting processed sugars as much as you can. That said, eating a little dark chocolate each day might be a delicious way to dial up your immune system. By choosing bars with a cacao percentage to 70 percent or higher, you get a low sugar treat with plenty of health benefits.
Quarantine means that many people find themselves feeling isolated, while others crave more personal space. Wherever your lockdown living arrangement is, maintaining meaningful relationships is good for your health. Whether you’re meeting friends for coffee over Zoom, or rediscovering the simple joys of family game night at home, know that social connectedness is a powerful boost to your mental and physical health.
Wash Your Hands
Frequent handwashing with soap and water is one of the most effective ways to avoid getting sick. Further, keeping your hands clean means that you’re less likely to spread germs and viruses to other people. Hand sanitizers can also be helpful, but washing your hands with soap and water is best.
Load Up On Water
Drinking plenty of water every day is fundamental to good health. If you’re wondering how much is enough, aim for half your body weight in ounces of pure water daily. Water flushes toxins from the body and helps deliver oxygen to your cells. You can also try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for added flavor and extra vitamin C.
Get Enough Rest
Getting enough sleep every night protects your health in important ways. When you don’t sleep enough, your body creates fewer immunity-boosting cytokines. Cytokines are a type of protein that helps keep inflammation and infections in check. Moreover, the body makes cytokines as you sleep, so getting the recommended seven to nine hours of nightly shut-eye is key.
Supplements are no substitute for eating a healthy, plant-centered diet. However, supplements can support immunity in powerful ways, especially when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle. A regimen of vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc is a great baseline to start with. You can also try adaptogenic herbs, such as astragalus and turmeric, medicinal mushrooms, and garlic to help kick your immune system into high gear.
Don’t Skip Exercise
Not only is regular exercise great for your mood and mental health, but research also shows that a daily workout can strengthen your immunity. There’s never been a better time to start a new streaming service. Online workouts are plentiful and varied and can simulate the energy of a live class when working out at home.
Laugh More & Often
Laughter is one of the best ways to strengthen your body’s immune response. Not only a great stress reliever, but laughter also helps create stronger interpersonal connections and can literally make you healthier. A good laugh increases endorphins and decreases stress hormones. It also boosts infection-fighting immune cells and antibodies. All things considered, you might want to skip that Netflix crime show marathon and queue up some comedies instead.
When it comes to creating a mindfulness practice, you have options. Yoga, Tai Chi, and various forms of sitting meditation all provide powerful immunity-boosting benefits. Research shows that regular mindfulness practice can increase levels of disease-fighting cells in the body while decreasing inflammation. Additionally, mindfulness practice is an amazing way to relieve stress, and may also help ease depression and anxiety.
No matter what your self-care practice looks like, know that the more you commit to your routine, the greater the benefits over time. By nurturing both your mental and physical health every day, you create a foundation for good health that can keep your body strong for years to come.