Best Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy!
We all know exercise contributes to overall good health and well-being – it improves cardiovascular health, maintains blood pressure levels within healthy limits and protects our overall health. But did you also know it can contribute to a healthy immune system? Scientists and researchers have found exercise promotes good circulation, which allows the cells and other substances found in the immune system to move freely and do their job efficiently.
Now that you know all the benefits of exercise, your first instinct may be to lace up your running shoes and go for a jog. However, exercising outdoors can be problematic if you suffer from seasonal discomfort. While taking supplements like Allerfin® can help reduce seasonal discomfort symptoms, you can also consider doing indoor exercises either at a gym or at home. If a treadmill seems too boring, here are three additional exercise options that will improve your overall health and won’t worsen your seasonal symptoms.
Yoga, which has been around for over 5,000 years, comes in many shapes and forms. While there exist about 100 different methods, all yoga strengthens and tones muscles, improves flexibility and opens airways, the latter which can greatly improve your immune health. Whether it’s downward dog or a head stand, get into yoga and watch the health benefits flow in!
Pilates, which was developed by trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1930s, has many of the same benefits as yoga. This low-impact exercise will work wonders on your core, aka your abdominal muscles. It also helps improve flexibility and posture.
Aquatic exercise like swimming is an ideal workout for seasonal discomfort sufferers. The humid, warm air helps clear sinuses and is easy on your lungs. It takes the pressure off your joints while strengthening your muscles. Simple activities like water walking can be done by all age groups, and can quickly lead to improved heart health and reduced stress.
In addition to regular exercise, a well-balanced diet is key to maintaining a healthy immune system. If you’re looking for a boost, especially during the change in season, here are five nutrient dense foods to keep on hand.
Garlic keeps vampires and nasty colds away! Used by the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and the Chinese, garlic has long been a prized ingredient not just in food, but also in medicine. Garlic contains sulfur compounds, which have been proven to help maintain blood pressure levels in a healthy range, maintain cholesterol levels in a healthy range, and support cognitive health. Its microbial properties can also help with the symptoms that come with the change of season. Chop it up and use it in your favorite stir fry, roast it whole, add it to mashed potatoes…the options are endless!
Turmeric’s superpowers aren’t a secret; this ancient Indian spice has been used to improve health. It contains the powerful ingredient known as curcumin, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since inflammation is a main contributor to a weakened immune system, incorporating more turmeric into your diet is a surefire way to lead a longer life.
Ginger doesn’t just come in pickled form at your local sushi place, it’s a powerful plant that can give your immune system a much-needed boost. Its anti-viral properties work wonders when it comes to seasonal discomfort symptoms, as it inhibits mucus production and helps clear congestion. For a quick and easy preparation, peel ginger and steep a little chunk in some hot water, and you’ll have instant ginger tea.
The benefits of eating yogurt are well known – just look at the options at your local grocery store! Rich in calcium, protein and other vitamins, yogurt’s star ingredient is probiotics, a type of “good bacteria” that helps promote a healthy digestive system..
Broccoli is an unlikely source of one of the most important vitamins when it comes to immune health – Vitamin C. Like other cruciferous vegetables including cauliflower, cabbage, kale and brussels sprouts, broccoli contains powerful antioxidants like sulforaphane, which rids the body of free radicals and reduces inflammation. Broccoli can be consumed in a myriad of ways – chop it up and add it to salad, roast it or steam it. Our mothers were right – eat your broccoli!