Daily Immunity Boosting Activities
Your immune system is your bodies first line of defence against infections and diseases. However, just like us, our immune system can get tired if we don't give it enough love! The great news is, there are several daily activities can help boost your body’s immune system and overall health.
So, what is your immune system? According to Better Health, the immune system is a complex network of cells and proteins that defends the body against disease and infection. The immune system is made up of white blood cells, antibodies your spleen, bone marrow and other body systems called the complement and lymphatic system. It is also what helps you to recover from injuries and infections and what protects against diseases.
Here are some proactive steps that you can incorporate into your day to improve your immune system!
Exercise and moving your body
Daily exercise is a vital part of healthy living and has been shown to help improve your mental and physical health, which in turn can boost the body’s immune system! The Australian Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines suggest that the average adult should accumulates 2 ½ to 5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week. Alternatively, an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.
However, you can get busy, so doing any physical activity is better nothing! Our top tip, and an easy way to work towards this recommendation, is to try and pencil in 30 minutes of exercise each day!
You might have heard this old saying before, "you are what you eat"! Well, our body absorbs whatever we put into it, so the healthier foods we put into our body, the happier our immune system will be!
According to the Australian Dietary Guidelines, the average adult is recommended to eat 5-6 serves of vegetables and legumes and 2 serves of fruit each day. This is because fruit and vegetables are packed full of natural vitamins and minerals that improve your health.
According to Better Health, fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamin A (beta-carotene), C and E, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and folic acid. To get the best out of your daily intake, Better Health suggests trying to get as many different colours into your diet as possible. For instance, having a mix of red foods (i.e. tomatoes, capsicum), green foods (spinach, broccoli), white foods (i.e. cauliflower) and more. The key is to aim for the rainbow!
Find out more about the Aus Dietary Guideline recommendations here: https://nutritionaustralia.org/fact-sheets/australian-dietary-guidelines-recommended-daily-intakes/
Getting enough sleep
According to the Sleep Foundation, approximately 4 in 10 Australians don’t get enough sleep. It is recommended that the average adult gets 8 hours of sleep per night. Without adequate amounts of sleep, your body and your immune system will not function as efficiently. If you struggle to sleep, some quick tips that can help you sleep easier might include:
- Having an hour or two of screen-free time before you go to sleep
- Reducing your caffeine intake during the day or
- Using a relaxation technique before going to bed, such as a guided meditation or using some scented relaxation oils like lavender or can improve sleep quality (The sleep doctor, 2019).
Reducing your stress
Stress is a normal part of life, however, if stress or that 'fight or flight mode' continues over a prolonged period, it might be considered to be 'chronic stress'. According to the Mayo Clinic, the long-term activation of the stress-response system can put you at increased risk of many health problems, such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Digestive issues
- Memory and concentration impairment
- Heart disease
- Sleep problems or
- Weight gain
Daily ways to combat stress can include any of the suggestions above or practising mindfulness and relaxation techniques that relax your mind and body. Some examples that you can incorporate into your days breathing practices, yoga, guided meditation. Check out our online Yoga Flow video session with Heidi here:
For more mindfulness exercises, check out our Home Fitness Network videos here:
The Home Fitness Network portal is FREE for all community members, so you can keep up your health and fitness 'at-home' routines whilst our Centre remains closed.
Practice Good Hygiene
And last but not least, maintaining good personal hygiene is our first barrier to keeping our immune systems strong! The top personal hygiene tips to keep your hygiene up from the Australian Health Gov includes:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water.
- Using alcohol-based hand sanitisers when you can’t use soap and water
- Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you use often such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
- Clean and disinfect objects you use often such as mobile phones, keys, wallets and work passes
- Use tap and go payments instead of cash where possible
- Increase the amount of fresh air in your home by opening windows or changing air conditioning
- Stay at home if you feel unwell.
- Stay 1.5 metres away from other people whenever possible.
- For residents of Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, wearing your facemask when you leave your home. From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August everyone in Victoria aged 12 years and over will need to wear a face covering when they leave home.
Find out more about Healthy Hygiene here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/how-to-protect-yourself-and-others-from-coronavirus-covid-19/good-hygiene-for-coronavirus-covid-19 .
Find out more about the Victorian Department of Health mask requirements here: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/updated-restrictions-announced-30-july-covid-19
*Please consult or seek expert health professional advice, if you are seeking personalised health or lifestyle advice.References