Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts. It has the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, Evolve MMA is the top rated BJJ gyms.
They say prevention is better than cure. So while in your mind you’ve come to terms with possibly becoming infected with COVID-19, which has swept across the entire globe, it’s still best to protect yourself completely so you don’t catch the virus. Fortifying your immune system should be your top priority now, while you are in good health.
In essence, your immune system, your body’s natural self-defense, does a great job of protecting you against disease-causing microorganisms. But nobody’s immune system is perfect. Every now and then, a virus gets through, and you can get sick.
The good thing is that you do have the power to boost your immune system if you take extra care of your health and wellness, and make some key lifestyle changes that will improve your overall well-being as a whole.
A strong immune system requires good balance in life. The obvious areas of focus are diet and exercise, but apart from that, there is more to be done in order to boost the immune system.
We’ve come up with a few pointers for you to follow, and all very doable even in this circuit breaker period. By having better immune systems, we are properly equipped to fight this virus and emerge on the victorious end.
Today, Evolve Daily shares six tips to boost your immune system.
1) Martial arts training
Consistent daily physical exercise is essential to your immune system. The positive effects exercise has on your life cannot be overstated. Everyone should be up and moving every day for at least 30 minutes.
Martial arts training is a great way to get a workout in. And while you may not be able to get to a Muay Thai gym, BJJ school, or boxing gym during Singapore’s circuit breaker period, you can still train at home! Evolve MMA offers livestream interactive classes right now with its Evolve Live Zoom Classes on the Zoom video conferencing platform, where anyone in the world can have access to a wide array of martial arts training sessions including boxing, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and mixed martial arts.
Exercising consistently every day boosts your immune system and gives your body the armor it needs to fight off infection and viruses. You’ll not only lose weight and get fit, but you’ll feel great too, and that goes a long way in fortifying your body’s natural defense system.
2) Eat more plant-based food
We’re not talking about going completely vegan, but you should try to increase your intake of plant-based food. Fruits like mangoes, oranges, and strawberries are not just good for you, they’re absolutely delicious too. Vegetables like kale, spinach, and broccoli are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that protect you against harmful pathogens.
These foods help decrease inflammation caused by harmful free radicals, which builds up in your body through time. Chronic inflammation is directly linked to various conditions such as heart disease, metabolic disease, and certain cancers.
This is where the fiber-rich plant-based foods are important, because they feed your digestive system with healthy bacteria that fight free radicals. Furthermore, plant-based foods are dense in Vitamin C, B, and A, which will no doubt help strengthen your immune system.
3) Eat more fermented food or take probiotics
Two other great options to consider for its immune system-boosting effects are fermented foods and probiotic supplements. Increasing your intake of fermented foods opens you up to reap the benefits of an increase in probiotics, which line your digestive tract, including your stomach, intestines, and colon.
Foods such as yogurt, kimchi, tempeh, miso, and certain cheeses are great for your gut health. If you love flavored drinks, you may also want to try out Kombucha, a fermented, effervescent, sweetened black or green tea that has recently become popular again.
Several studies have indicated that a flourishing network of good bacteria in the digestive tract can help immune cells in your body fight microorganisms.
If fermented food isn’t your thing, you can try probiotic supplements which should be available at your local health store.
4) Get enough sleep
One aspect of our health, and one that is key to a great immune system, is also something we often overlook — getting an ample amount of sleep.
Sleep and your immune system have a close relationship. As a matter of fact, the lack of sleep, or even poor quality of sleep, is directly linked to an increased vulnerability to illness.
Research has shown that, as adults, getting at least six hours of sleep each night was enough to see a significant increase in the body’s ability to stave off the common cold. Inversely, getting less than six hours of sleep exposes the body to viral infections immensely.
Teenagers need about eight to ten hours, while young children should be getting twelve to fourteen hours each day. Simply put, getting enough sleep will boost your natural immunity.
Try to limit screen time every night, get off your phone or tablet, and allow your mind to take a breather. It could lead to better quality sleep, and you’ll feel more energized when you wake up in the morning as opposed to feeling sluggish.
5) Decrease sugar intake
Sugar has an adverse effect on your overall health. Even small quantities of it are not good for your body, especially when you consume large amounts of processed sugars and carbs. Increased intake in sugar and carbs also leads directly to obesity and the various risks of disease that come with it, such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
Research shows that those who are obese are twice as likely to catch the common cold or flu, compared to a person of average weight.
So if you want to boost your immune system, decrease your sugar intake. You should only strive to keep your sugar intake to about 5% of your daily calories, or approximately 25 grams based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
One way to decrease sugar intake is to quit sugary drinks and just stick to plain water. Soda, which is usually laced with copious amounts of sugar, is extremely detrimental to your health.
6) Drink enough water
Last but not least, drink lots of water. It cannot be reiterated enough that drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your body.
While drinking water doesn’t necessarily protect you from viruses, it does help mobilize your immune system because water is very important to how your body functions. Everything from your digestive tract, to the efficiency of your muscles, and even your mood, is affected by water.
Dehydration can cause annoyances like headaches and migraines, and can even cause you to lose focus. Furthermore, staying hydrated is great for your heart and kidneys.
Drink at least two liters of water daily in cool climates. If you live in a warm, tropical climate, strive for an extra half-liter. Be careful though, because there is such a thing as drinking too much water. Just consume the right amount, and you’re good.