Sleep Quality Matters
Our bodies heal and rejuvenate while we are sleeping. During good, quality sleep our bodies produce and circulate immune boosting cells throughout the body to help fight infection. The amount of hours of sleep each person needs varies but it is recommended that adults get 7 hours of sleep a night to optimize health. Sleep deprivation causes increased levels of cortisol, the body's main stress hormone, to be released into the body. If the body is experiencing too much cortisol in its system for an extended period of time, the immune system is negatively impacted. Practice good sleep hygiene by turning off electronic devices 1-2 hours before bed, drinking lavender tea to relax and keeping the room dark by using black out shades.
Move a little everyday for at least 20-60 minutes. Regular exercise plays a major role in preventing chronic disease (Cancer, Type II Diabetes) as well as acute illness such as viral and bacterial infections. Mix up your workouts throughout the week to prevent boredom by incorporating high intensity exercises like running and bootcamp classes with less intense workouts such as walking and yoga. For even more added benefits, take your workout outside! Fresh air improves mood, lowers blood pressure and supports the immune system. Plus, you’ll get plenty of vitamin D from the sun!!
The foods we put into our bodies have the power to heal us or harm us. Whole foods, specifically plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables and spices, have antiviral and antimicrobial properties to help fight infection and ultimately boost the immune system. Consuming processed foods or foods high in refined sugar displays opposite effects in the body, resulting in suppressed immune function. Try the 80/20 rule - eat balanced, whole food meals 80% of the time and indulge in snacks/treats 20% of the time because we’re human and cookies are yummy! Pro Tip: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, that’s where all the whole foods are!
Laugh everyday! Laughter lightens our hearts, brings the body back into balance, relieves stress and releases endorphins. A good laugh increases resiliency, decreases pain and improves immunity. Laughter shifts your perspective on a situation because you physically cannot feel angry, sad or anxious when you’re laughing and smiling. After some laughter, you’ll feel a heightened sense of gratitude and wellbeing. So watch a funny Netflix sitcom or those hilarious Zoom meeting fails videos on YouTube and enjoy a good-ole belly laugh!