Stay Home And Stay Fit
For A String Immune System
I hope this finds you healthy and able to still get outside (or inside) for a daily run during this trying time of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many of us are grieving several losses including race cancellations. Though it's a bummer, I want you to know that your hard-earned training is far from wasted.
Those miles are in your legs and all kinds of wonderful benefits have occurred including the addition of mitochondria, adding new capillary beds for increased blood flow, and strengthening the heart muscle for future training.
As athletes, it's important for us to be proactive in maintaining a strong immune system. We're not only doing this for our own prevention but also our loved ones that we spend time with.
Here are 5 tips to consider as you seek to stay healthy:
1.) Load up on Fruit & Veggies Highest in Vitamin C
Try to resist the temptation to fill your pantry with sugary comfort foods. Though it may feel good in the moment, all that sugar will serve to compromise your immune system. Instead, focus on getting organic, whole fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of Vitamin C.
Here are the top food sources for Vitamin C:
- yellow bell peppers
Apples are also a good choice with their high levels of quercetin-a flavonoid that helps guard against cold and flu bugs along with helping decrease inflammation.
Avoiding junk food full of refined sugar will also help prevent unnecessary inflammation.
2.) Get Outside if You Can
It's now officially spring time which means we'll have more and more sunshine. This will allow our bodies to create more Vitamin D.
For athletes especially, Vitamin D levels correspond with our immunity.
Getting a quality Vitamin D supplement into our bodies along with getting some measure of natural light and fresh air can also help enhance our mood.
I personally struggled with seasonal affect disorder (SAD) for years before we moved to Colorado Springs 8 years ago.
My wife noticed my mood improving significantly with the abundance of sunshine we have here. It also didn’t hurt to have access to mountains.
3.) Hydrate with Water
Getting enough pure water each day becomes even more important in order to help our bodies flush out toxins.
A nice formula to ensure you’re drinking enough is to change your body weight to ounces and cut that in half.
For example, a 150 pound person needs a minimum intake of 75 ounces of water each day. This number will increase on days when we exercise.
One way to know you’re drinking enough is to notice a clear to light yellow color in your urine. Dark yellow is a sign you’re under-drinking.
4.) Take a Quality Probiotic
Most people don’t know this, but your gut is home to 80% of your Immune System. In fact, the overall health of your body is directly determined by the health of your gut and the type of bacteria living there, according to Dr. Minkoff.
Neglecting it can lead to many varying health situations down the road, each much more uncomfortable than mere indigestion.
In terms of a quality Probiotic, check out Perfect Immune Defense over in the Vita wellness store.
5.) Stay Consistent!
Not that we need to train like maniacs during this tough stretch but it’s a good idea to still stay consistent.
Slacking off too much will lead to a loss of cardio fitness and an increase in weight which will add unnecessary stress.
We all know it takes a lot longer to gain that precious fitness than it does to lose it. It also takes more effort to lose those stubborn pounds than it does to gain them.
Daily exercise routines can help us stay strong both mentally and physically. I may not always feel like going for a run but I've rarely, if ever, regretted getting it done.
Practice these tips over the next several months and you’ll give your body what it needs during this unusually stressful time.
We're going to come through this even stronger on the other side!