I hope your December is off to a fantastic start and that you are carving out some “you” time to enjoy your favorite activities during the holidays!
Tackling your fitness during a month of high stress seems like an attempt at brushing your teeth while eating oreos, but think about this: If you work on your fitness THIS month, when EVERYONE starts their fitness resolutions in January, you will be one month in and THAT much closer to achieving your fitness goals!
Giving yourself the gift of good health is a great way to start … and I’ve got some tips for you today on boosting your immune system NATURALLY.
BONUS: This has a spillover effect to pretty much every area of your health, including your mood! And all of these things can make a difference for everyone in your family.
✓ STEP 1: Eat A Diet Based In WHOLE FOODS (& keep your gut happy)
There are entire books written on this topic! In a nutshell, try to:
Make WHOLE foods the center of your diet. Especially plant-based foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and legumes, which are packed with micronutrients and fiber that help your body defend itself.
Your gut microbiome is a major player in your immune system. You can help keep it healthy and happy by eating enough fiber as well as bolstering it with fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, naturally brined pickles, and kefir!
For our current clients, we have a Ready-To-Go meal guide, so ask your trainer for your copy today! Not a current client? Contact us today on how to get started!
✓ STEP 2: Watch Your Sugar, Sugar.
Too much sugar can suppress your immune system. This is just one reason why experts say to limit your added sugar intake to less than 10% of your daily calories. (NOTE: this doesn’t include naturally occurring sugar like the kind found in fruit or dairy products).
What that looks like, according to the American Heart Association:
→ For men: no more than 9 teaspoons (36 grams) a day.
→ For women, the number tops out at 6 teaspoons (25 grams).
This adds up fast!
Just as an example, a 12-ounce (355 ml) can of regular soda contains 8 teaspoons (32 grams) of added sugar.
Pro-tip: Plant based sugars like erythritol, stevia, allulose, or monk fruit, found conveniently at your local grocery store, are EXCELLENT alternatives to satisfy your sweet tooth while not impacting your blood sugar! Chemical based sweeteners like sweet n' low or equal are not as healthy, so branch out and try these plant based alternatives!
Generally, steer clear of processed foods that come in a bag, box, or can and have a long list of ingredients.
✓ STEP 3: Get (and stay) Fit!
Most people should shoot for 150 minutes of moderate exercise (like brisk walking, bicycling, jogging, swimming, our Small Group Training or Personal Training sessions every week.
This matters for your immune system because it can help reduce inflammation (which is linked to illness and disease) PLUS promote the healthy turnover of immune cells in your body!
And because we work with clients that have been broken, injured, or just haven't worked out in a while, we KNOW how to get you moving safely and feeling GREAT!
✓ STEP 4: Drink Water
Need another reason to make sure you’re getting enough water each day?! Dehydration can actually make you more susceptible to illness!
Exactly how much water you need is constantly being debated, but the Institute of Medicine recommends an overall fluid intake each day of:
● Men- 131 ounces (3.9 liters), 13 cups (about 3 liters) of which should come from beverages
● Women- 95 ounces (2.8 liters), 9 cups (about 2.1 liters) of which should come from beverages.
Good news is that unsweetened, naturally flavored, sparkling water like Bubly has been shown to hydrate just as well as tap water. So grab some fun flavors and mix up your hydration throughout the day!
✓ STEP 5: Get Your Shut-Eye
Sleeping less than 6 hours a night is linked to a higher likelihood of coming down with a cold.
(PLUS: getting enough sleep is also linked with less stress and fewer food cravings.)
Good news: with regular exercise and movement, you will be more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep faster!
✓ STEP 6: Find time to relax.
Long-term stress can create imbalances in the way your immune cells work ... and appears to even SUPPRESS the immune response. Make some time to stop and smell the roses (Or go out and look at holiday decorations!).
Stretch more, deep breathe more, and try out some simple meditation and breathing apps on your phone. Help is there, you just have to know where to look!! Check them out at the app store!
✓ STEP 7: Should You Take Supplements?
Many supplements (vitamins, minerals, herbs, etc.) may help boost your immune system … but if you’re thinking of taking them, be sure to check with your doctor first.
This is especially important if you have any health issues or take prescriptions. One of the reasons I extensively researched and chose to carry Shaklee supplements (and give it to my own family!) is how clean, researched, and whole plant derived they are. If it's not something I personally take or would take, I won't offer it to my clients. Period.
As I mentioned above, all of these things affect far more than your immune system.
They also play a role in your results, your energy, AND your mood!
If you are looking for some guidance when it comes to reclaiming your fitness,I’m here to help you!
Need to supercharge your fitness? Try our Drop-a-Pants-Size 21 day Small Group Fitness challenge or our Personal Training Test Drive! Book a time to meet with me HERE, and let's get you started!
Committed to your Success,
Owner/Founder, AXIS Training Studio