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3 Tips to Boost Your Immune System

Chris Brainard

Chris Brainard

Chris is a former collegiate athlete and has a passion for empowering athletes and adults to achieve their fitness and performance goals. Chris has been helping athletes and adults for the past 8 years look, move, and feel amazing without beating up their bodies and spending hours in the gym.

Your immune system is critical when it comes to functioning and performing at your best. Think of it as your body’s first line of defense. It’s primary job is to keep you healthy and happy.

With a ton of new research coming out in the past few years, we know understand that our gut houses about 70-80% of our immune system. Neurotransmitters, the digestion process and a host of other things all are directly related to how healthy your gut is. That’s why  gut health is so important.

The foods we eat, our quality of sleep, how much we exercise are things that are going to either positively or negatively effect the way our gut functions. If we’re living on processed foods then we’re going to be inflamed and our immune system will function poorly. Not getting enough quality (notice I said quality not quantity) sleep is going to leave us stressed and our hormones out of whack.

All of these things work in harmony to make sure were feeling and performing at our best.

So, what steps can you take to boost your immune system and help your body fight off foreign invaders that can make you sick?

1. exercise

 

Exercise is #1 on your list. Reason being, movement is medicine. Exercise provides a ton of benefits that not only boost your immune system and keep you healthy but also other things that indirectly affect your health and immune system.  Research has shown that those who exercise regularly, have better functioning immune systems and can fight off things like diseases, illnesses, and infections. Exercise has also been shown to decrease the amount of inflammatory cells that weaken your immune system.

2. Nutrition

Nutrition drives 75% of your results.  Yes, you read that correctly. So many people make the mistake of thinking that exercising alone is going to get them the results they want.  Often times, it works the other way around. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”.  This saying couldn’t be further from the truth. Not only will your nutrition assist you in losing fat, building lean muscle, or whatever your goals may be it will also ensure that your gut is functioning at it’s best. 

Removing foods that negatively impact your immune system will go a long way. These are things like processed foods, packaged foods, and foods that are high in sugar and fat. 

Easy tips to boost your immune system:

  • Eat mostly whole foods! These are foods that you would be able to pick, grow, or hunt. If you can answer all three, you’re good to go!
  • Including 20-30 grams of protein at every meal
  • Increasing fruit and vegetable intake
  • Hydrating throughout the way
  • Including healthy fats into your diet

3. SLEEP

Nothing wreaks more havoc on your hormones and immune system than not getting enough quality sleep. The research is very clear on how important sleep is to functioning at our best. Lack of quality sleep can negatively affect our immune system and inflammation levels. This is where most people get into trouble. 

So, I’m sure you’re wondering how much sleep you should be getting to function optimally?

Aiming for 7-9 quality hours of sleep is best. Everybody is different so some people might need more and some people can get away with a little less. For the most part 7-9 hours will be ideal.

Tips on getting a great night’s sleep:

  • Eliminate electronics 1 hour before going to bed
  • Limit caffeine later in the day. Cut it off at 2:00 pm.
  • Make your room as dark as possible.  This will help tell your body that it’s time for bed.
  • Keep your room cool. Science shows that keeping your temperature at 68-70 degrees is best.
  • Meditate or read a book before bed.

There you go. 3 easy ways to supercharge you’re immune system during these tough times. Start small and be consistent. You don’t have to master all 3 at the same time. Focus on one and nail it before you add another one.

Let me know how it works out!

-Chris

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