18 Mar Nutrition + Weight + Exercise = Immune System Health
If you’re like most people – you’re likely worried about how the COVID-19 is going to impact you and your family and what you can do to be proactive in preventing it. Well today I’m going to discuss just that! So stay tuned….
One mantra I follow is “You don’t always want to GET Ready, you want to STAY ready”
Meaning: We can never predict when outbreak of any sort will occur. If our immune system compromised (not strong) BEFORE the outbreak, it makes us more vulnerable and susceptible and our body less able to fight!
In such a time as this, immune system health is important! This is the perfect time to start thinking about and how to build up your ‘nutritional fitness’ or ‘nutritional status’ so that you are always armed and prepared physically to fight and much as possible any virus or illness.
I will make this note, the best means of avoiding COVID-19 is good hygiene practices. But also, having a strong immune system will help your body “fight the fight” until medical attention is provided!
Today, I want to speak briefly on nutrition, weight, exercise AND Immune system Health
Point #1 Nutrition and Immune Health
The old saying “Eat an apple a day; you will keep the doctor away.” Is actually true! Studies show that eating a diet that is high in fiber and antioxidants (fruits and vegetables – a variety, that is key) and has enough protein helps to keep your immune system working properly.
Diets high in sugar and fat or eating too many calories in general (regardless of the source), make you more prone to infection.
This is because it can lead to increases in blood sugar or may cause oxidative damage. I will get a bit technical here. Oxidation damage is an overproduction of reactive oxygen species compared to the body’s ability to detoxify cells.
This type of damage from oxygen increases your chances of infection.
On the flip side, If you have too little protein intake, you are also at risk for protein-energy malnutrition. This has also been associated with significant impairments of immunity
Point #2 Exercise and Immune Health
Exercise and health go hand-in-hand. We have all heard that exercise helps fight diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, cancer, sleep disturbances, mood and obesity itself.
In general, people who exercise and are physically active throughout the day tend to live longer, healthier lives.
There is also evidence that exercise does improve immune function. Studies have shown that exercise seemed to increase numbers of certain immune cells that help to bolster immune activity.
Moderate exercise has been reported to increase certain immune cells, reducing the risk of infection.
On the other hand, too intense of exercise (without adequate rest) has actually been shown to increase stress on the body and cause a person to be more at risk to infection. I stress to clients all the time, that rest days and active recovery days are important.
Point #3 Weight
Regarding weight, maintaining a healthy weight is the best course of action for total body wellness, including immune system health. Good nutrition and effective exercise will help maintain a healthy weight.
In summary, nutrition, exercise and a healthy weight are all related to immune system health. Take this time you have available to build up your nutritional status and begin putting some practices in place that will help you become more ‘nutritionally fit’. I will o
n LIVE tomorrow (March 19th) on Facebook (@ActionChoices) at 2:30 EST PM. I will speak more on how to put some of those practices in place and talk about some foods that support immune system health!