Life gets crazy busy. The key to powering through your to-do list is not only doing your best, but also being your best — physically and mentally.
That may seem a little extra challenging during the holiday season, but you can still try to take a proactive approach to supporting a healthy immune system.
With the help of this four-step routine, you’ll feel great knowing you’ll be up for anything.
Step 1: Build your foundation
Loading up on vitamin C is one common way to support immunity, but there is so much more we can do to support our body’s defenses every day. That includes replenishing your sunshine vitamin – also known as vitamin D.
It not only supports strong bones and heart health but also helps support your immune system. One of the most popular ways to obtain it is through sun exposure—just don’t forget your sunscreen!
You can also look at dietary sources of vitamin D, including fish, mushrooms and egg yolks. And you can help fill any gaps in your diet (or time in the sun) with a supplement.
Your gut health also plays a key role in achieving optimal health, so make sure you take care of it. Probiotic-rich foods can replace the good bacteria in your gut, which helps keep your system humming. They include yogurt and fermented foods like pickles, kefir and sauerkraut.
Step 2: Stay prepared
Now that your immune system has a good foundation, you’ll need antioxidant protection for your natural defense system. A good way to do this is to make sure you’re eating as many colorful fruits and vegetables as possible.
Keep them front and center in the refrigerator or on the counter for grab-and-go convenience. Antioxidant-packed blueberries, citrus fruits rich in vitamin C, copper- and iron-filled spinach and garlic all have immune system benefits. Holy basil and zinc also help support your natural defenses and support respiratory health.
Step 3: Get back on track
If you’re feeling a bit off, there are things you can do to get back on track. Listen to what your body is telling you and be mindful of what could be derailing you.
When you’re headed in the wrong direction, add some extra self-care to your daily routine. Try products that contain valuable botanicals to support your body’s defense system.
Staying hydrated is also key. Good hydration supports the body’s immune system, helps skin health, and keeps our mind sharp and our days productive. You can also get hydration from fruits and vegetables with high water content or from non-caffeinated beverages.
Step 4: Establish healthy habits
Though nutrition is important, lifestyle factors can also affect your immune system. Things like exercise, getting enough sleep and managing stress are key to maintaining physical and mental health.
Exercise is important for your immune system because working up a sweat helps flush out toxins from your body. Commit to doing some sort of physical activity every day to keep your body moving. Try online workouts, lunchtime walks or challenge yourself with a couch to 5k!
Sleep is essential and not getting enough of it can weaken our body’s defenses. Establishing a good sleep routine, like taking a break from screens before bedtime or relaxing with hot tea and yoga stretches, will signal to your brain that it’s time to “power off” so you get the restorative rest your body needs.
Occasional stress is also a factor because what’s going on in our mind can impact what’s going on in our bodies. Finding smart ways to cope is extremely important. Try taking a bath, lighting your favorite candle, watching something that makes you laugh, meditating or journaling.
And of course, make sure you’re eating right. Foods like whole grains, dairy, meat, beans and plenty of fruits and vegetables are all part of a healthy diet. They will also provide you with good energy!
Strengthen your inner nature
Now that you have a plan, why not get started on your immunity routine right away? Let us know if you need any help.