Well, suffice it to say, most of us have never been through anything like a pandemic before, and it’s taking its toll. Our bodies, minds, emotions, and relationships have all been affected in some way, and more likely than not, a lot of it has been negative. I haven’t talked to too many people who have admitted to thriving during Covid-19 and say they’re doing better than ever. It made me think that it might be worth a minute to jot down some habits I’ve observed in clients that have allowed them to continue to excel physically during this time…
We all know that having a healthy immune system helps fight not only Covid-19 but viruses in general. From a fitness standpoint, here are some things you can do to contribute towards good health and a good immune system.
- Get good sleep. Don’t underestimate what good sleep will do for your immune system. In fact, when it comes to weight loss, one skill we teach our clients is getting 8 hours of sleep. Taking magnesium, limiting late night blue screen time, and getting your cortisol levels normalized will help on that front.
- Workout regularly. Working out does many things including relieving stress, boosting your immune system, keeping your heart healthy (it’s a muscle too 😉), and getting toxins out of your body through sweat; however, if you workout extremely hard such as a CrossFit style workout, you can temporarily deplete your immune system as it tries to help your body recover from your workout. Not only that, but if you’re fighting a virus your body needs its resources to fight the virus. Resting while fighting a virus is the right decision. Fighting a virus and doing a hard workout can actually work against your progress.
- Eating healthy food. It’s never been more important to eat healthy foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than right now. Just counting macros doesn’t mean your getting what your body needs. Focus on consuming whole foods with a variety of color that aren’t processed. Colors in food represent different vitamins and minerals. We tend to get a lot of white and brown in our diet, so shoot for some new colors like orange, yellow, red, and green.
- Have good vitamin D levels. For those living in Idaho, it’s more common than not to have low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is responsible for helping the immune system function well, helping fight free radicals, reducing inflammation, building stronger bones, improving blood pressure and brain function, and so many other things. I recommend everyone see where their levels are. It’s an easy blood test your primary physician can do.
- Do things to relieve stress. Something I’ve struggled with and found that a lot of people struggle with is dealing with a lot of stress on a regular basis. Take a minute to reflect on times when you are not stressed. Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with? For me, working out by myself, listening to jazz, racing my motorcycle, playing with my kids, or going to coffee with my wife all get me into a different frame of mind. Do those things and surround yourself with people that you can connect with that don’t increase your stress. Stress is linked to more health problems than most people realize. In fact, if I had to choose only one of the things on this list it would be relieve stress. There is nothing worse than existing in a worried, frantic, angry state of being.
I know it’s popular and noble to stay super busy, get very little sleep, work extremely long days, eat on the run between meetings and to let everyone around you know how much you’re doing, but is it good for you? Consider slowing down a bit and focusing on your health. If you’re doing the things I’ve listed above, you’ll be setting yourself up, not only to have more strength to fight off viruses, but also to be a little more happy!