This whole lockdown situation could be seen as a golden opportunity and maybe one of the best times in world history to get healthy.
Many of us have no choice to be at home and may have a bit more time on our hands to think about what we can do to help us be healthy. Healthy people or at least those without currently diagnosed medical conditions are in the low risk category. If you do have symptoms or a medical condition (those with high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease) the more you focus on being healthy the lower your risk of being infected or suffering less serious infection.
With more time on our hands and taking the opportunity to keep being healthy I opted for an outdoor workout. So never mind Joe Wicks and his PE workouts this morning, I decided to do the workout sent to my 9 year old from her school. Sadly it wasn’t as easy as I anticipated.
We put music on of her choosing for each of the 60 second long exercises, so that included having to re-learn the Macarena! We had some wave music on for the mediation. Clearly right now we can’t go out and help an old lady across the road so for the good deed the kitchen got swept and the living room hoovered.
All in it covered a lot of bases, it was exercise for health and to burn off the high levels of stress that are around right now, outdoors with a little bit of sunshine, sweating for detox, breathing to relax, time with one of my kids, and it was fun.
Then back inside for lunch and break the fast as I have been trying to Intermittent Fast and limit eating until at least midday. Some days have gone for longer. Fasting has been shown to help up-regulate the bodies repair systems especially the digestive system where your immune system largely lives and also directly support the immune system.
However in times of high stress forcing yourself to fast and suffering it whilst doing it is only going to help up the stress hormones and suppress your immune system, so that’s counterproductive.
Increasing stress when fear of catching or spreading this virus alongside not working, food supplies and running out of toilet paper all add up to impacting sleep. Sleep is one of the big bang for your buck things we can do each day to truly maximise the function of our immune systems and if any of us are infected help our immune systems get back to normal ASAP.
As an extra motivator to get sleep, higher levels of melatonin are one of the theories why young people with naturally higher levels of melatonin are less likely to get infected. Also higher levels of melatonin can reduce the over response of the nervous system that is part of the process that leads to those that get seriously ill.
Exercise helps you eat better, more exercise and better food help you sleep, better sleep helps you have the energy to exercise and increase the motivation and desire for good food as oppose to cravings for sugar and processed food. So it goes round and round, ultimately sleep supports the immune system.
Along with lunch it was time for some extra support to keep me up to speed when life has never been so weird; so specific to the coronavirus antiviral herbs alongside high dose vitamin C have been added to my normal routine health support of multivitamins and probiotics.
Beyond stress management right now with exercise, time with your family, better sleep it can also be a time to focus on gut health. There are clients still running lab tests at the moment, with a stool test the ideal way to get a window into gut health, to see how your gut is functioning and what can be getting in the way of that and causing digestive symptoms. Internally gut health is a priority for immune system function before you go for specifics.
By looking after your digestion and going easy on sugary and processed foods, alcohol and avoiding foods you know are problematic whether that’s gluten, dairy or eggs you can reduce internal stress. Reducing that internal stress to your digestive system will help prepare you directly to cope with the viral load that’s out and about anytime we do need to go out and about.
The less our digestive and immune systems have to cope with from stress, poor food, bugs in our digestive tracts, food sensitivities, and toxins in our home environments the more spare capacity, the more robust and ready for action our immune systems will be.
So probiotics alongside prebiotic foods such as artichoke, garlic, onions, leeks, asparagus, banana, apples, oats and the good news, well for me a serious raw chocolate addict, cocoa.
As always the basics have to be in place first. Taking bucket loads of vitamin C whilst eating sugar loaded comfort food will not lead to that vitamin C doing the job you hope it will. There will be more gut stress, poor blood sugar control, raising stress hormones and ultimately suppressed immune system.
If anyone would like to know more specifically how they can best support their own immune system it would be far better if we set up a call than I give blanket one size fits all recommendations. Social media is covered in experts and not so expert opinions on what to take.
Anyway tomorrow I’m definitely going for a walk in the woods!