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Nutrition

A 7-DAY PLAN TO STRENGTHEN THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

Small improvements to your daily routine, meal plans and fitness aims can add up to big results.

03 Aug 2021

Day 1

Do 
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time to minimise germ exposure and protect the immune system. Tip: That’s the duration of about two renditions of the Happy Birthday song, so sing while you soap up.

Eat
 
Have an extra portion of leafy greens. They’re rich in fibre, essential vitamins and minerals. This help neutralises free radicals and enhances immunity.

Move 
Use a foam roller for a total body self-massage. This helps reduce pro-inflammatory proteins. Inflammation, if left unchecked, can lead to impairment of the immune system.

 

Day 2

Do 
Drink up. Your immune system gets nutrients from the bloodstream, which comprises mainly of water. Are you drinking enough water? Calculate with this formula: Body weight (in pounds) ÷2 = Minimum ounces of water to drink per day

Eat
a rainbow. Bright and colourful fruits and vegetables are great sources of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Mushrooms are also great immunity boosters.

Move 
Do a low-impact exercise for at least 30 minutes to help the immune system work efficiently. Walking, yoga and swimming are ideal.

Day 3

Do 
Lack of sleep heightens your risk of infections whereas quality slumber makes T cells, a type of white blood cell that arms the body to fight off viruses, work better. Work on developing good sleep hygiene.

Eat 
Up your intake of healthy fats with nuts and seeds. Flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts are rich in Omega-3, which brings down inflammation and helps the immune system ward off pathogens.

Move 
Do at least one set (12 reps) of side to side jumps. Besides improving stability, coordination and strength, this exercise also keep the lymph system open and flowing, which helps maintain the immune system.

 

Day 4

Do 
Catch the morning sun for at least 15 minutes. Vitamin D is essential to help regulate the immune system.

Eat 
Incorporate whole grains and legumes into your meals. Besides gut-healthy fibre, they also contain B vitamins and zinc that support the immune system.

Move 
Work your glutes and tone your legs by doing squats. This move also helps enhance blood circulation, allowing white blood cells to be transported around the body and help it fight off potential illnesses.

Day 5

Do 
Destress through meditation, breathing exercises, a sound bath, or sit under a shower for 5-10 minutes – basically anything that will quiet your mind for some time. Even if you don’t think you’re stressed out, there’s no harm in letting the body and mindfully relax.

Eat 
Add herbs and spices to your cooking. They contain high levels of antioxidants and other nutrients, the bioavailability of which is enhanced when you use them together.

Move 
Besides building strength and improving flexibility, Pilates enhances the lymphatic and respiratory systems, both of which are crucial to the immune system.

Day 6

Do 
Take a cold shower first thing in the morning to increase your white blood cells count and stimulate the immune response. Make sure the water hits your best and face.

Eat 
Load up on Vitamin C through citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables like brussel sprouts and broccoli. This water-soluble vitamin is an antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also been shown to help with Covid-19 recovery.

Move 
Fly like Superman! Actually, just hold the exercise pose by the same name for 10 reps of 1-2 minutes each. One of its benefits is it improves circulation.

Day 7

Do 
Reach out to friends and family whom you haven’t spoken to for a while. Research shows that social connection strengthens immune function, improving recovery from diseases.

Eat 
Fill your plates with quality proteins like grass-fed meats and free-range eggs. Protein is crucial for immune health as they help build and maintain the cells while strengthening the body’s ability to fight infections.

Move
Plank for 30-60 seconds. It’s a great form of strength training that works the entire body.

References:

Boost Your Immune System

7 Ways to Keep Your Immune System Healthy

7 Tips to Boost Your Immune System in 24 Hours

Benefits of Cold Showers

Social Connection Boosts Health, Even When You're Isolated

Exercises To Boost Your Immunity 

How Much Water To Drink Per Day