Simple Tips for a Robust Immune System

Nobody likes getting sick, but we don’t ever think much about it until we finally feel it coming. Then we find ourselves suddenly stocking up on vitamin C and drinking herbal tea, trying all the home remedy tricks we learned from our grandmothers. However, the best way to fight off illnesses is to prevent them in the first place, by doing simple things each day that boost the immune system.

Get Enough Sleep

Getting enough quality sleep each night is so essential for a healthy immune system. Try to get the recommended 7-8 hours of sound sleep each night, which may take some practice to build up to. Studies have shown that lack of sleep significantly weakens the immune system. If you have trouble falling asleep, set up a good nightly routine to relax and prepare for sleep. Put your screens away at least an hour before bed or get some blue light protecting glasses.

Eat Your Antioxidants

Our bodies need the right fuel to fight off infections. Antioxidants clear out free radicals from the body, which can otherwise cause inflammation and weaken the immune system. Vitamins A, C, and E are rich in antioxidants and can help regulate the immune response. Make sure you’re eating your vegetables and fruits to get these essential micronutrients, and if you can’t get enough through your diet, consider taking a high-quality multivitamin.

Stop Stressing

Stress not only affects your mental well-being, but it also takes an enormous toll on your physical health. While acute stress is sometimes useful for those short bursts of adrenaline, most of us are dealing with chronic stress. This wreaks havoc on your body and can lead to adrenal fatigue, chronic low-grade inflammation, and a weakened immune system. If you’re feeling stressed out, try getting to the root of the problem and fixing that. Take some time to relax and unwind after a stressful day so that your body can recover.

Exercise, But Not Too Intensely

Exercise is so vital for overall health, but it specifically benefits the immune system by promoting helping to circulate your immune cells throughout the body.  It also lowers inflammation and reduces stress levels, which is key for a robust immune system. However, some studies have found that overly intense exercise, especially without enough recovery time, can have adverse effects on your immune health. So, exercise, but give your body enough time to recover as well.

Practice Good Hygiene

While it is essential to have a strong immune system that can fight off infections, the best way to protect yourself is to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face if you haven’t. If you’re out and aren’t able to wash your hands, use sanitizer or a hand wipe.

This is an interesting time we’re living in, and boosting the immune system is at the top of everyone’s priority list. Along with these daily tasks, eating as many plants as possible will give you the strong immune system you’re longing for. Load up on veggies, drink copious amounts of fresh water, and lessen the load of environmental toxins.  Make time for things that make you happy, nourish your relationships, and make sure you feel connected. There are so many things that come together to create a robust immune system.

Affordable Ways to Improve Your Health on a Daily Basis

Adding new healthy habits can feel daunting. Being inundated with the latest eating plans, the newest organic superfood drink, trendy gym classes — it can all be a lot. On top of being overwhelming in general, these things can add up in price. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be that way, and today I’m including seven ways that you can improve your health for little to no cost at all.

Be Physically Active
You don’t need a gym membership or personal trainer to move your body. There are loads of free resources on the internet for workouts that you can do at home with no equipment at all. You can also go for a walk or run outside when the weather is nice. If you wish, you can invest in minimal equipment, such as resistance bands, to increase the intensity of your at home workouts without breaking the bank.

Intermittent Fasting
Lately, many scientific studies have been demonstrating that intermittent fasting can give you tremendous health benefits. You can choose a split that works best for you and your schedule, but the most common breakdown is an 8-hour eating frame and a 12-hour fast. This isn’t just great for weight and fat loss; studies have shown that it can improve cell regeneration and help prevent illness. Check with your medical professional to make sure fasting is right for you.

Take Cold Showers
Cold showers can stimulate your nervous system and improve your heart rate. Try to take a cold shower first thing in the morning—not only will it really wake you up, but it can also improve heart health.

Meditate
Meditating is good for both the body and mind. Take time to meditate each day, and you will notice a dramatic decrease in your stress levels, which not only makes you feel happier and more relaxed but also improves your physical health. When we are stressed out, our bodies release too much cortisol— our stress hormone— which can increase inflammation and have negative effects on our physical health. By de-stressing, you can take care of your mental and physical health.

Practice Your Breathing
Take some time each day to completely clear your mind and focus solely on your breathing. Practice taking slow, deep breaths instead of the short and shallow breathing that we often unconsciously do when we’re feeling stressed. This can also be part of your meditation practice.

Drink Enough Water
Water is the healthiest thing you can drink —and it is free. Make sure you’re drinking half of your body weight in oz of water each day and make it a habit to drink a big glass first thing in the morning. If you want to do a little extra, you can have a cup of warm lemon water in the morning to kickstart your metabolism and make you feel like you started your day on a healthy note. That way, you’ll be more inclined and motivated to keep up the healthy habits for the rest of the day.

Spend Time in Nature
You don’t need to exercise outside every day, but you should spend at least 30 minutes in nature, whether you’re moving your body or just sitting in the park. Spending time in nature is fantastic for reducing stress and clearing our minds. The fresh air is good for waking you up if you feel groggy or unmotivated.

Feasible Ways to Stay Moving

Let’s face it— sometimes, we just don’t have the time or motivation to get our daily exercise done. Aside from planned workouts, we actually burn a good deal of calories from simple regular movements, such as walking.

Here are five ways that you can increase your physical activity by tweaking the daily tasks that you’re already doing.

1. Park further away
Whenever we drive somewhere, we always look for the closest parking spot so that we don’t have to walk far. However, this is a missed
opportunity to get some extra steps in (plus, you’ll likely save yourself a lot of stress from not finding an empty spot). Next time you’re parking somewhere, try to go a bit further away from the entrance. These daily steps add up.

2. Make physical activity a social event
Usually, when we catch up with friends, it’s over coffee or a meal. Try integrating physical activity into your social life so that you make it something you look forward to. Instead of going out for dinner, go on a walk together. This way, you can still talk and catch up, but you’ll be moving your body while you do it. You can also do other fun activities together, such as skating, rock climbing, or a fun fitness class. It’s always more fun to exercise when you’re doing it with a friend.

3. Pace when you’re on the phone
All these seemingly little movements throughout the day can add up and contribute a lot to your overall step count and the number of calories that you burn. When you’re texting or talking on the phone, pace back and forth or walk around the house. Over time, it will become a habit, and you won’t even think about it as you do it.

4. Take a bike or walk instead of driving
If you’re going somewhere that’s not too far, try riding your bike or walk there instead of driving or taking a bus. If the destination is too far and you are taking public transit, you can walk to the next station over instead of the one closest to you and get off a few stops early to walk the rest of the way.

5. Get up when you’re sitting
If you have an office job or are working at your desk all day, you are probably spending the majority of your day sitting down, which can be unhealthy and especially bad for your posture. Take advantage of your lunch break, and take a quick stroll. Get some fresh air. Even throughout your working hours, remember to get up off your chair and even just walk tothe bathroom or end of the hallway every so often.

You can also do some of your work standing up, when at all possible. If you work from home, consider getting a standing or height-adjustable desk, or sit on a medicine ball instead of a chair.

Highly Effective Ways to Lower Stress Naturally

Stress is remarkably damaging to our mental and physical health. Even though we know how serious it is, most of us can’t seem to find an effective way to get rid of it (or at least reduce it). Here are six all-natural, healthy, and highly effective ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

1. Exercise
You’ve probably heard this one before, but exercise is a marvelous stress reliever. Exercising releases endorphins, which are natural compounds in your body that reduce stress and pain. You don’t have to do strenuous or intense workouts to experience this benefit. Try to be physically active every day, whether it is a brisk walk in the sunshine, swimming, or weightlifting at the gym. You might be surprised at how good it makes you feel.

2. Natural Adaptogen Supplements
Adaptogen supplements are natural herbs that help your body adapt to stressors in your environment. A common adaptogen is Ashwagandha. Although the stress response might feel as though it’s limited to your mind, your entire body responds to stress. Your heart rate and blood pressure increase, you might have difficulty focusing, and you start breathing rapidly. Adaptogens help calm the nervous system down and are completely natural.

3. Schedule in “Me-time”
Although life can get overwhelmingly busy, don’t forget about yourself. Scheduling in “me time” is equally as important as that business meeting or lunch with friends. Take time at least once a week (or as often as your schedule allows) to relax and do things that calm you down. Read a book, have a bath, meditate, or watch a funny movie, and don’t cancel on yourself!

4. Get Enough Good-quality Sleep
I can’t stress how important getting enough sleep is for your overall wellbeing. Getting enough quality sleep is proven to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress significantly. You probably know how irritated, frustrated, and upset you can get when you feel exhausted and haven’t slept enough. Make sure you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

5. Eat Healthy, Whole Foods
The foods you eat can have a tremendous impact on your stress levels— both positive and negative. If you eat processed, sugary junk foods, you will notice that your feelings of stress will only get worse. A diet full of real, nutrient-dense, whole foods can counteract the damaging effects of stress on your body and can help you feel significantly better. Healthy fats (especially omega-3 fatty acids) found in salmon, avocado, nuts, and seeds can help regulate levels of cortisol, your stress hormone.

6. Calming Essential Oils
Essential oils are powerful and natural remedies for numerous health problems, from indigestion to stress. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming properties. You can put this oil in an aromatherapy diffuser or apply it topically to help you relieve stress and sleep better. Rose oil is also a powerful calming oil that can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. However, be careful as essential oils are very potent, and you don’t want to use too much.

How You Can Benefit From Hiring a Health Coach

I’m sure you’re familiar with the title of “Health Coach” but do you know what you can actually benefit from hiring a Health Coach? Health Coaches are becoming so popular that big companies are hiring them to keep their members and employees on track with their health, but you could even have a private health coach of your own to help you reach your goals.

So, what can a Health Coach do for you?

They keep you on track
A Health Coach realizes lofty goals often don’t go far. Health coaches help you focus on small daily goals that will get you to achieve your overall goal of better health and wellness, step by step at a time in a way that makes improving your life easy, completely manageable and even fun.

Change your diet without making you eat things you don’t like
Maybe you went into your mission of better health strong but after a while, got sick of the things you were eating. We all lose that inspiration at times, but a health coach has all kinds of delicious ideas for eating clean without sacrificing on taste. They can help you find the right things to eat for you as an individual, which you can’t find on Pinterest!

They show you how to handle triggers that cause you to overeat
If your problem is that you tend to choose food to comfort your feelings, a health coach can be life-changing. They will teach you how to handle that stress and keep you from turning to food for comfort rather than for nourishment.

They’re a good influence when everyone else isn’t
A health coach can be that inspiration that keeps you level-headed when you’re making choices about food. Plus, they can show you ways to enjoy healthier versions of those things you love, so you don’t have to go without. They can teach you how to navigate summer bbqs and holiday gatherings without guilt.

They teach you self-care
When is the last time you put yourself first? If you have to sit and really think about it, a health coach is for you. You can’t fill up everyone’s cup if you’re empty yourself. Your health is so important, and by taking this time for your wellness inside and out, you will be the best version of yourself.

Health coaches focus on every area of wellness
It’s not just about losing weight or getting in shape. Health coaches help you with mental health too. Anxiety and stress can tear at us from inside, and your health coach can steer you in the right direction to take healthy control of these areas too.

You deserve happiness and good health, and a way to achieve both is to get a health coach in your corner. You’ll find that making the goals you set for your wellness is easier to reach when you’ve got someone cheering for you!

Do you shy away from exercising outside during the hot summer months?

It can be challenging to conquer the heat and still get that workout in, but there are a few hacks I use during the hot months to get through them without ditching my workouts.

Going for a run in the early morning hours before the sun gets too hot is extremely helpful.

You could also do lower intensity workouts such as walking or hiking, and save the long runs for the cooler months.  If you do choose to still workout outside, make sure you wear white or other very light colored workout clothes with breathable fabrics.

If you don’t already have one, you can pick up one of those cool neck wraps that stays cool for several hours.  Wrap it around your neck as you’re outside to keep yourself cooled down as much as possible.

Lastly, choosing a shady park to run or walk in is another wonderful way to stay out of the sun.

Do you prefer indoor or outdoor workouts during the summer months?

When there’s no time to head to the gym, fitting in a short and effective at home workout is a great alternative.

Each move will be done 3x — do your move for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 3x.  Move on to next move.

Welcome to Spring HIIT Workout:

– Butt Kicks

– Arm Circles

– Jumping Jacks

– Sit Ups

– Mountain Climbers

“Is a gym membership worth it or can I make it work at home?”

Depending on how much space you have, home may be a perfect option.  You don’t have to be self-conscious in a room full of people working out, and without the commute, it’s much easier to fit into your schedule. There are loads of free and affordable apps, workout videos and YouTube stations to get your workout in at home.

If you go the gym route, there are some definite benefits. Most gyms offer a coach or at least someone who can guide you through the machines and routines. Also, all of the equipment is a huge perk. Most gyms have every option under the sun so that it is easy to work out every part of your body.  The only hard part with this is that everyone else is doing the same, so crowds and unsanitary equipment can be a downfall at times.

When it comes down to it, it is all about your preferences and comfort zones.  Consider which you’d take the most advantage of and go with that.

Do you prefer working out at home or in the gym?