We were not born winners, we were not born losers—we are born choosers. During this unprecedented global Covid-19 pandemic, it can feel like we have very little choice which can lead to feelings of stress and powerlessness. The bad news is that this stress undermines our immune systems—but the good news is that we have more power to increase our happiness, develop our health and reduce our stress than we realize, thereby boosting our immunity. Here are 5 ways to use that power of choice to lower your stress and strengthen your immune system today at home, for free.
1. Get some sunlight—especially your face and eyes
A surprising fact is that sunlight is a very powerful way for our bodies to get Vitamin D. Go to this quiz to see if you are Vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D fights disease, reduces depression and boosts weight loss. According to this article, the best time of day to get sunlight is in the morning with an optimal effect at midday for 10 to 30 minutes. It doesn’t matter if the sun is weaker winter or spring sunlight, but it does need to be through an open window or in your yard—i.e. not through a glass pane or overcast cloudy conditions.
2. Eat well—fasting and feasting
Havard Health Publishing says, “Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment.” Havard health scientists recommend that you eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables, drink alcohol in moderation and, where possible, eat organic produce. Dr. Josh Axe has some great videos on immunity-boosting smoothie and juicing recipes. The combination of foods rich in micronutrients, pro and prebiotics with and the three essential macronutrients including healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil provides the gut with what it needs to feed the gut biome which is a key factor in maintaining a robust immune system. The part that is free is fasting. It is ideal to give your digestion a break by practicing intermittent fasting—experts suggest a gentle approach to time-restricted eating of 18 to six ratio. If you time it well then eight to nine of those fasting hours can be while you sleep. The power of fasting is that it puts the body into ‘system cleanup mode’ called autophagy which is where all the immune-boosting magic happens. See this video for more info.
3. Prayer, worship and mindfulness
One benefit of having to stay home during the pandemic is the time and the opportunity to spend time in quiet and in prayer. The amazing thing is that prayer gets us out of our heads, feelings and anxiety and puts us in a focussed space where our spirit actively connects with the Holy Spirit. Worship helps us forget about ourselves and lift our eyes to someone bigger than all this. In that time our bodies’ natural response is to come out of the fight or flight mode, and into a more peaceful place—and that is the part where our immune system is boosted. “The only way to gain peace in the midst of anxiety is to turn to God, trusting in His perfect will and His power to hold us in His hands.”
Yep, you knew this one would be on the list. Andrew Diamond, chief medical officer of One Medical says, “Low- and moderate-intensity exercise naturally lowers cortisol levels and helps with immune system function.” The reason cortisol needs to be lowered is that it turns off cells in your immune system. In other words—exercise makes you feel good—so for those who are home at this time here are some suggestions for workout options. For those who are married, don’t forget that lovemaking is an excellent health booster! Here are some free workout resources The Body Coach TV, Heather Robertson 12 week challenge and the Nike Training Club which has a great app that you can download.
5. Quality sleep
Eric J. Olson, M.D says, “Lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” It’s not only about clocking those hours of sleep but its also about the quality of your sleep which is about how and when you go to bed. It has proven to be such a struggle to get a good eight to nine hours of quality sleep in the #precovid-19 world—but now is a perfect opportunity to change that. If your sleep rhythm is a bit out of whack try these steps to bring it back into balance, and go ahead and boost your immune system.