With the Covid-19 paranoia, staying in shape while boosting our immune system has become much more important than ever. In an age of dust, dirt, chemical pollutants, impurities, junk foods, and unhealthy lifestyles, staying in shape with a rock-solid immune system is harder than ever.
Stress no more! Today, we’ll share how to stay in shape and boost your immune system. In this article, we’ll share some scientifically proven ways to stay in shape, foods to bolster your immune function, and more!
Let’s dig deep:
The first thing you should do is to cut down something inhuman and impossible. Yes, I’m talking about a strict diet you might be trying to follow for an extended period. Okay, stop! You don’t have to follow a military diet to achieve sound health.
Fit people give their habits the most priority. Instead of following a temporary solution, like a short-term strict diet plan, pick something permanent. ‘Personalized diet plans‘ have become a trend in recent years. Instead of following a predetermined diet plan, try following with something you like. If you like apples eat those instead of potato chips as a snack. Eating things you enjoy will help you to stick to the plan longer.
Foods That Boost Your Immune System
Here are 11 nutritious and budget-friendly foods that will strengthen your immune function and keep you in shape.
Spinach is mainly green leafy vegetables rich in vitamin C and A, beta-carotene, iron, and antioxidants, and is widely available in tropical countries like Thailand. It helps your digestion and is available for all months of the year. Always collect fresh and for the highest nutrition don’t cook it for too long.
Garlic is a common cooking ingredient, and this plant from the allium (onion) family is rich in manganese, vitamins, potassium, and much more. You can take it as garlic powder, cooked, in garlic oil or raw. Spinach with garlic is a popular recipe across the world. Garlic works wonders in controlling high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure. This vegetable is also found to be effective in preventing the common cold.
3. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits include lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. These fruits contain a high amount of vitamin C, one of the essential ingredients that will help your immune function against general cold and flu. These fruits are also rich in essential antioxidants and minerals, like potassium, copper, magnesium, and phosphorous. These highly nutritious fruits are also extremely low in calories. Including these in your diet list can burn extra fat and keep you in shape.
Papaya is a delicious and versatile fruit. It contains a high amount of vitamin C along with antioxidant effects and anti-cancer properties. It also helps to improve your digestion and heart condition. A regular size of papaya contains more vitamin C than an adult needs daily. Luckily this sweet fruit won’t ruin your fitness goal! Instead, it can aid the weight loss process, thanks to its high fiber and anti-inflammatory properties.
Ginger is a widely used herbal medicine and for cooking as well. This anti-bacterial and anti-viral flowery plant is rich in dietary fiber, protein, iron, zinc, vitamins, etc. Here’s how it can help your immune system and keep you in shape —
- Strengthens the immune system to kill viruses.
- Suppresses some cancer cells growth, like liver, skin, and prostate cancer.
- Treats LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Nuts are rich in energy, protein, vitamins, fiber, copper, calcium, selenium, etc. They are free of cholesterol. Experts say that nuts may help to reduce the chances of heart disease. Nut consumption may let you feel your stomach full, thanks to its healthy fat and fiber. It stops your hunger, which is a good strike when you want to lose weight.
7. Moringa (called Marum in Thailand)
Moringa is a true superfood filled with a plethora of vitamins and minerals. You can take a look at some of the benefits of moringa here, you won’t find many other foods that offer such a huge amount of nutrition is one single food. Moringa – known locally as marum or มะรุม – is prevalent in tropical climates and can easily be found locally and in many countries around the world. The tree is fast growing and the leave pack a powerful hit of antioxidants and much, much more.
BUILD WORTHY HABITS
According to Harvard Medical School “The first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle.” Here are some habits you should develop to give your immune system while staying in shape;
Wear Masks and Sanitize Hands – but not too much!
Health experts suggested using a good quality mask in high-risk environments and maintaining general hygiene long before the pandemic outbreak. These two habits can prevent dust, viruses, and bacteria in the environment affecting us to a considerable extent.
The pandemic has made the issue more serious. You should only wear a mask when you feel at risk however, it is unhealthy to wear it too often or when you are by yourself, as it may reduce your oxygen intake. Never wear a mask during exercise as this may cause hypoxia.
Use hand sanitizer if you must as well, but remember it kills good bacteria too, so don’t overdo it or it can negatively impact your immune system.
No doubt, exercise has no alternative if you want to stay in shape with a robust immune system. Without regular exercise, the foods you consume will be stored in the body and your weight may increase. Ultimately, unhealthy foods will hamper the ecosystem of your body.
Exercises like walking, hiking, cycling, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can boost up your immune system. Research shows that people who exercise have a reduced risk of cardiac diseases by 20-25%. It improves blood circulation throughout the body and brain.
People who go cycling regularly have more active immune cells. This also ensures lower risks of infection. During exercise, sweat releases from the body and removes toxic substances.
Some experts suggests morning as the best time to work out. But it’s still good for you even if you prefer afternoon or evening workout sessions. Fix an exact schedule, morning or night, and regularly exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Maintaining consistency on something is vital for getting a positive result.
No equipment? That’s perfectly fine. Many freehand exercises can tone up your body. Go for a walk or jogging. Even better join a gym. You can also run on a treadmill at home. Here are some super-effective exercises you can do at home with little to no equipment;
- Jumping Jacks
- Burpees, and
- Glute bridges etc.
Sleep plays an essential role in keeping our body in shape and our immune system healthy. While asleep, the human bodies release growth hormones and recover from days’ hustles. Research shows that getting enough sleep ensures better calorie regulation by influencing appetite hormones. A good night’s rest is also good for your mental well-being.
You should never compromise with your sleeping time. Sleeping time varies from person to person, and as an adult, make sure you sleep for seven to nine hours each day. If you don’t give your body time to replenish itself, your performance during exercise will suffer.
Drinking enough water, up to 7 to 8 glasses per day, is a must-do thing for avoiding dehydration. Our body’s 70% is water; that’s why it is often referred to as life. From proper digestion to washing out toxins, doctors recommend drinking plenty of water, even in many diseases like upper respiratory tract infections.
Don’t take the stress. It might sound odd in this modern age. Perhaps you have many projects hanging, a tight schedule of meetings, or personal issues like the death of loved ones. But, nothing matters if you are not well.
Here are some suggestions to manage stress better:
- Try meditation every morning after you wake up. Sit in a calm place and start practicing, in the beginning, maybe for only five minutes. Meditation relaxes our mind and improves focus. Many psychologists recommend it for overcoming stress.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking as much as possible. Alcohol is very hazardous to the health, and smoking destroys the lungs and that eventually cause lung cancer. Also, smoking is responsible for poor digestion, lack of sleep, hypertension, stress, and more health problems.
- Traveling is another great way to manage stress. Exploring new places takes us out of our comfort zone and introduces us to people from various places and levels. Traveling helps to improve personal growth. It will divert your mind towards positive things with the excitement of adventures.
- Stick around happy people, like staying with friends or colleagues, who can join you for exercise, inspire you, and help you be more conscious about your health.
Frequently Asked Health Questions
What does it mean to stay in shape?
‘Stay in shape’ means being fit by leading a healthy lifestyle that boosts your immunity and defends against microorganisms. To stay in shape, take control of your body and mind, control your weight, and lead a happy life.
Is it important to stay in shape?
Irregular lifestyle and food habits lead people to gain extra fat and face various health issues, like heart disease, weak immunity, and frequent sickness. The only way to avoid these is to stay in shape. Staying in shape doesn’t mean having a shredded figure; it means the soundness of both body and mind.
How do I build muscle and stay lean?
First, shift your food habit to a healthy one. Fill up your grocery list with fruits and vegetables rich in nutrients: protein, vitamins, and essential minerals etc. instead of foods with saturated fat and cholesterol. To burn calories and generate muscle mass, join a gym, or practice freehand exercise at home. Be sure to maintain consistency.
How can I boost my immune system fast?
You can’t boost your immune system within a matter of days. But, by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can improve your immunity over time. Being more careful about food habits, exercise, stress control, sound sleep, and hydration can speed up the process.
What are the signs of a weak immune system?
Getting sick often is a major sign of a weak immune system. Perhaps you feel stressed all the time, infected by flu and cold regularly, feel very weak and lazy all the time. These are some other signs of a weak immune system. A weak immune system may also cause frequent fever, diarrhea, and constipation. Your self-healing process of any infection also may delay.
Your immunity level depends on how you take care of yourself, and by staying in shape, you can ensure proper care of yourself. If you follow the above advice on nutritious foods, exercise, plus you get lots of fresh air and sunshine, and minimize your exposure to chemical and toxins, you will get into better shape and boost your immune system quickly.