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Lifestyle tips to support your immune system

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During the current pandemic, it is vital that we are looking after ourselves as well as our loved ones. Staying healthy, happy and active are all key in building and maintaining a strong immune system.

We can build a strong immune system by consuming an optimal intake of essential nutrients as well as supporting our gut health and managing stress. In this article, our nutritionist Isha shares some of her top tips to support your immune system for optimum health, read below for more!

Maintain a healthy sleeping pattern

For our body to repair and function optimally, we need adequate sleep; this is usually 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Research indicates that those who have less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep are three times more likely to develop an infection, such as the common cold in comparison to individuals who sleep more than 8 hours a night.
By regulating our natural circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle), we can add to our immune health; this means going to sleep when our melatonin is released (after sunset) and sticking to a set bedtime. Our sleep hormone (melatonin) is packed with anti-inflammatory properties which can suppress certain infections.

Breathe and reduce stress

The breath directly impacts our sympathetic nervous system response (our ‘fight or flight’ instinct) and can help support our nervous system and reduce inflammation. Stress can weaken our immune system and increase inflammation, increasing susceptibility to infections, so try and take time out in your day to do something that you enjoy!

Try this breathing exercise daily:

  • Empty your lungs of air
  • Inhale through the nose for 4 counts
  • Hold for 4 counts
  • Exhale through the mouth for 4 counts
  • Repeat until you feel more relaxed

Move!

Try and incorporate walking or stretching every day. Taking walks in the sun can increase your vitamin D status, and many studies show that adequate vitamin D levels can strengthen your immune system.

At Perfect Balance Clinic, we are closely monitoring the developments relating to the spread of coronavirus and noting updates given by the World Health Organisation and other public bodies. If you are worried about the virus and want to know more about how to boost your health, contact us today and speak to one of our qualified Nutritionists who can guide and reassure you on how to optimise your immune health today!

Isha Patel, BSc Nutrition

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