It’s time to get serious about immunity. Just as we thought we might be emerging it seems that some restrictions will remain a way of life and the best approach is to make sure that we keep our immune system strong to fight off any infection.
Although there is much positivity on results of vaccines, the optimum strategy is to work to upgrade our immune system to have the most resilient defence. Here we look at techniques that stimulate your response to infection, reduce oxidative stress and regenerate cellular processes.
How to optimise your immune system
Stress Levels and the Immune System
Modern medicine has come to appreciate that the mind and body are closely related.
Constant worry and negative thinking about what might happen takes a toll on our emotional and physical health. Stress has an impact on the strength of our immunity and continued stress has been associated with ageing and degenerative diseases. Taking out a short time each day for mindfulness can help to calm and reduce stress levels, this article shares simple techniques to help reduce stress levels.
Sleep like a baby for a strong immune system
When it comes to our health, getting enough sleep comes at the top of the list. While a good sleeping regime won’t stop you from getting ill, skimping on it can adversely affect immunity. When we sleep our body makes cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation, effectively creating an immune response.
Breathe and chill out with Wim Hoff
We’ve often talked about mindfulness as a way to boost health and healing. There are many practises developed to help calm and energise. A newer concept to us is the technique of Wim Hoff. Wim is a charismatic Dutchman who has developed a technique of combined breathing before cold exposure to strengthen your nervous system and stress response.
It might sound bizarre but swimming in cold water is associated with longevity. One of its widely acknowledged benefits is that it stimulates brown fat cells. Although we only have a small number of brown fat cells, they burn many times more calories than white fat cells. Studies also show that swimming in cold water increases oxygen levels, boosts your immune system, reduce stress and gives an endorphin boost. You don’t have to go the whole hog and head down to the river every day, you can start by turning your shower to cold for just a minute to start to build up your resilience.
Discover the Wim Hoff method for yourself
Short-term fasting to reboot
Calorie restriction is clinically proven to reboot the body and regenerating cells. But how low do you have to go without food and most of us find it difficult to go without food for any length of time. Intermittent fasting is a core practise for many looking to promote longevity.
Intermittent fasting has 3 key benefits
Fasting of any kind helps to reduce insulin resistance.
Fasting improves brain function and helps to protect from stressful situations.
It stimulates the body to clean out damaged cells to regenerate new and healthier cells.
It helps to create a strong immune system.
How to get started on an Intermittent fasting regime.
16:8 regime. This is the gentlest of ways to do an intermittent fast. You eat all of your daily calories within an 8-hour window and fast for the rest of the time. It’s quite easy to do and can be achieved by having a slightly later breakfast and eating an early dinner.
5:2 regime. You eat normally for days of the week and on the other 2 days you ‘fast’ by having between 500 and 600 calories.
At this current time, it is not recommended to do long fasts and we would advocate following one of the regimes above. Avoid fasting if you are tired, lethargic or menstruating and don’t over exercise during fasting, stick to yoga and walking.
Get outside for a strong immune system
Do you dread the time when we have to turn back the clocks? Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can hit some of us especially hard. Lack of sunlight can affect our brains, especially the production of the serotonin, our happy hormone. Symptoms can vary, but they typically consist of low moods and irritability. Exposure to sunlight in has multiple benefits including boosting our vitamin D levels, an essential for the immune system.
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