Best Exercises and Foods To Boost Immunity
Our immune system does the most extraordinary job of protecting us by fighting against all deadly pathogens and micro-organisms. But, what if one of them got in and made us sick?
Even though having an immune system is comforting, you need to maintain it to stay healthy. A weak immune system opens the door for disease making it difficult for your body to fight back against pathogens, germs and viruses. Also, in the current pandemic, having a strong immune system has become all the more important to fight the COVID-19 virus.
Following are some of the immunity-boosting exercises along with the best foods that boost immunity. These will help you to prepare your body to fight off any virus/germs that you may encounter.
- A] Best Immunity Boosting Exercises
- B] Foods That Boost Immunity
- #Stay Hydrated At All Times
A] Best Immunity Boosting Exercises
A simple exercise to increase immunity, walking daily can keep you physically fit and mentally agile. This exercise requires minimum effort and you can set the pace as per your comfort. Walking can improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of heart disease. It can also help improve your balance and lower blood sugar levels and cholesterol. If you are going outdoors for a walk, make sure to maintain social distance and wear a mask.
#2. Functional Training
The aim of functional training is to improve the performance of everyday movements, which help enhance the quality of life. Functional training engages & strengthens multiple muscle groups and increases coordination, balance, and agility thereby preventing injury.
Immunity and exercise are closely interlinked, and in the short term, exercise can help your immune system to fight off pathogens effectively. Whereas, in the long term, it slows down the ageing process of the immunity system, thereby reducing the risk of infections.
This is another easy exercise to boost immunity. Too much stress can weaken your immune system, making you more prone to frequent infections. By practising yoga, you can strengthen the immune system as yoga helps you de-stress by calming your nervous system. It can also help increase the energy levels in your body. Plus, it helps increase flexibility and improves posture.
#4. High-Intensity Interval Training
Also known as HIIT, these are vigorous exercises performed in a short period that get your heart pumping while taking necessary rest in between. HIIT could be a great cardio workout to boost the immune system. It lasts up to 15-30 minutes and can be done 3 times a week. Remember not to overexert yourself as this could have the opposite effect on your immune system.
#5. Strength Training
Strength training helps you to maintain your muscles as you age and is known to relieve stress from the body. Having a healthy muscle mass across your lifespan can help boost immunity against COVID-19 according to experts. Improved immunity ensures that your body responds quickly to any infection or disease. Thus, strength training should be a part of your exercise routine.
Further reading: Best Exercises for Men and Women to do at Home
B] Foods That Boost Immunity
These tiny berries consist of Flavonoid – an antioxidant that helps reduce cell damage, which boosts the immune system. They also play an important role in the defence of the respiratory tracts. So by eating blueberries, you can steer clear from respiratory illness as well as the common cold. What’s more, it provides additional nutrients for a healthy immune system, including vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium.
#2. Salmon and Tuna
Rich in omega-3s fatty acids, seafood helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing. Salmon and tuna, in particular, are a storehouse of healthy fatty acids that help enhance the immune system. This helps you to effectively fight off disease-causing pathogens and other viruses.
#3. Dark chocolate
This bitter-sweet food item is filled with fibre, magnesium, and amino acids. Cocoa especially can do wonders when it comes to increasing your immunity as it is a rich source of flavonoids – a plant-based compound that helps in the prevention of disease. Cocoa is also good for brain development, improves blood flow and has anti-inflammatory properties.
#4. Sweet Potatoes
A great after work out food, eating sweet potatoes is an excellent way to regain energy. They are highly nutritious and a good source of fibre and minerals which keeps your gut healthy. It also contains beta-carotene – a plant-based component – that converts into vitamin A in your body, which supports a healthy immune system.
One of the healthiest foods that help your immune system, yoghurt is also a gut-friendly food as it consists of probiotics – a healthy bacteria which improves your digestive system. It is high in protein and makes for an excellent snack. It also has a small amount of zinc and vitamin A that further boost your immunity.
#6. Broccoli and Spinach
When it comes to healthy diet and nutrition, vegetables top the list. Among the veggies, spinach and broccoli provide essential nutrients for a healthy immune system. Packed with Vitamin C, spinach consists of beta-carotene and numerous antioxidants that help your body fight infections effectively. It also includes vitamin A – an important nutrient for a healthy immune function. Likewise, broccoli is full of vitamin K, vitamin C, zinc, selenium and potassium. Plus, it has beta-carotene that helps strengthen the immune system.
#7. Ginger and Garlic
Garlic and ginger are often used as home remedies for illnesses since ancient times. Thanks to their medicinal properties, both garlic and ginger can help you fight the attack of germs and pathogens, keeping you safe from various disease. While garlic helps strengthen the functions of the immune system, ginger helps with digestion, reduces nausea and is a common cure in many Indian households for cold and flu. Apart from these, turmeric is another food item that supports immune function and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
#8. Dry Fruits and Nuts
These are the superfoods that can help strengthen your immunity. Dry fruits and nuts such as almonds, cashews, pine nuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, and dates provide protein, calcium, potassium, vitamin E, niacin, and riboflavin. A handful of dry fruits every day can help you to manage your stress better while the antioxidants in it can help you to fight different infections and illnesses.
#9. Oranges and Kiwi
These are the best foods to increase immunity as they offer vital minerals, nutrients and vitamins. Both of these fruits are packed with vitamin C that helps boost immune function. They also help fight against infection and inflammation by helping you increase your white blood cells. Other nutrients it provides include folate, vitamin K and potassium. The best part, when it comes to immunity-boosting foods, citrus fruits are a great choice as they are readily available; be it oranges or grapefruits, lemons, etc.
#Stay Hydrated At All Times
Along with exercises and eating healthily, you also need to stay hydrated by drinking plentiful water to improve immunity. Water provides you with endless benefits and helps eliminate harmful toxins and bacteria that cause infection. Also, since our bloodstream is mostly made of water, staying hydrated makes it easier for the body to carry oxygen to the cells. This, in turn, ensures oxygen & nutrients are evenly distributed across the body, which helps to further strengthen the immune system and fight off disease.