Optimising your immunity

Let’s start with the hard truth. You can’t fully control whether you catch a cold, the flu, or COVID-19.

This pandemic has brought many aspects of life to the forefront of our minds, how much we value social connections, how much we took our “normal” routines for granted, or perhaps it has highlighted how well your routines were established before and how well you have coped through this time.

It has been a different experience for all of us. Something that we have seen though is that there has been a common pattern arising – the importance of our health. Whichever aspect of your life you are looking at it will ultimately come back to your health.

Although there are many things out of our control, the good news is that when it comes to your immune system, your daily actions can make a meaningful difference.

No magical supplement, superfood, diet plan, or exercise routine can ensure you’ll stay healthy but consistently practising healthy behaviours, you can:

  • reduce your exposure and susceptibility
  • help optimise your immune function over time
  • better prepare your body to fight off foreign invaders

Plus, focusing on constructive behaviours might help you feel just a little bit more in control. And that could help ease the anxiety and stress that come with all the uncertainty.

“Fundamental” doesn’t always mean easy. Use the tips below to maintain your routine day after day, year after year.

Eating protein at every meal is hard enough on its own, and your supermarket might be sold out of the kind you like right now. (You might also have less money for groceries than before.)

Some people have way less time to work out than they used to since they’re busy homeschooling or working double shifts. Others have MUCH higher stress levels than before.

So pick and choose the strategies that make the most sense and feel doable to you right now. You can always incorporate others later.

1. Focus on whole foods and key nutrients

To avoid nutrient deficiencies, eat plenty of whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, protein and healthy fats. Batch- cook and freeze meals so nutritious food is always available.

Certain nutrients strengthen white blood cells’ ability to fight infection:

  • Protein, the building block of antibodies. Protein-deficient people are more susceptible to infectious diseases. Aim for a serving with each meal or snack.
  • Vitamin C, needed to prevent and fight infections. Whole foods are the best sources. Aim for 1-2 servings per day.
  • Vitamin D, helps to protect against respiratory tract infections. If you Don’t live near the equator, consider a liquid supplement with 600-4,000 IU/day.
  • Zinc, supports T-cells. Whole food sources – like whole grains, oysters and scallops – are great sources.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation and help white blood cells do their job. Eat plant sources of ALA daily – such as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds – and oily fish for DHA/EPA 2-3 times per week (or consider a supplement if you aren’t a fish fan!).

2. Achieve and maintain a healthy level of body fat

Storing excess body fat puts us at a much greater risk for ALL chronic diseases (heart disease, cancers, diabetes). The upside is that the risk can be COMPLETELY reversed, yes through eating the right foods in the right amounts you can vastly reduce your risks.

Try using hand portion sizes to serve up your balances meals:

  • Protein (1-2 palms per meal)
  • Vegetables (1-2 fistfuls)
  • Carbs (1-2 handfuls) 
  • Fats (1-2 thumbfulls)

3. Support your gut health

Eat foods with pre-and probiotics like bananas, yoghurts and sauerkraut, which can boost good bacteria.

4. Move your body

Exercise has long-term health- protective effects and is a great way to reduce stress and enhance immunity. Any moving will do right now, walk/ run/ dance/ CrossFit workout – it all counts!

Exercise has long-term health- protective effects and is a great way to reduce stress and enhance immunity. Any moving will do right now, walk/ run/ dance/ CrossFit workout – it all counts!

5. Balance stress load

Completely eliminate stress in your life? Unrealistic. Instead, find a middle ground. Prioritise downtime and parasympathetic activity, like meditation, a walk in nature, laughing with a friend.

6. Sleep Well

Aim to get 7-9 hours by:

  • Turning off electronics 30 minutes before bed
  • Clearing your mind with reading, meditation, or gentle movement
  • Stick to a reasonable bedtime, ideally before 12 am
  • Make your room as dark as possible
  • Keep your sleep area cool, clear and clean

If you are struggling with sleep it may seem impossible to get those hours in, instead of focusing on the “sleep” we would remind you to focus on what you can control, the environment. Give yourself the best chance for success, creating a bedtime routine does pay off in the long term.

It may seem overwhelming right now but remember to begin with small steps. You don’t need to overhaul your life to become healthy, start small, ask for help – you can do this!

Want help becoming the healthiest, fittest, and happiest version of yourself? 

Most people know that regular movement, eating well, sleep, and stress management is important for looking and feeling better. Yet they need help applying that knowledge in the context of their busy, sometimes stressful lives.

Over the past 9 years, we’ve used our coaching methods to help over 1,000 clients lose fatget stronger, and improve their health… for the long-term… no matter what challenges they’re dealing with.

If you’re ready to change your body, and your life, with help from some of the country’s best coaches, this is your chance.