Global pandemic or not, as flus and viruses surface in the world it’s important to know how your daily practices impact your health. Especially when you’re someone who challenges your immune system on a daily basis in your daily training.
So let’s chat about some ways to boost our immune system both now and in a post-covid world.
First we can look at the effects of gym time on your immune system: Good or Bad?
Does it hurt you or help you to be around all the germs in the gym? The answer? Both. When you’re pushing your body to its limits, your immune system starts to activate a response because it thinks your body is under attack. Right after your workout is when your immune system is the lowest. Right after this plummet however, your immune system has never been stronger! So what does this mean? It means wash your hands and keep them away from your face and mouth while working out, wash those hands for 20 seconds, and then reap the benefits of a stronger immune system all day long.
That brings us to our next topic: Hand washing
Hand washing is extremely important to stay on top of when viruses are going around, and this means ESPECIALLY at the gym. Wash your hands before touching your body. And remember if you do get sweaty and get your body on equipment that’s been touched by lots of people, your body is now covered in those germs. Gross. Best practice? Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water if you use the bathroom during exercise and post exercise. Take a shower after exercise to reduce your exposure to various pathogens. Don’t risk taking them around with you all day. Plus no one likes a smelly employee or friend.
So let’s talk about friends. Immune Boosters are friends and food!
What are immune boosters? Immune boosters are various vitamins and minerals that your body uses to fight infection or foreign substances in your body. Things like vitamin c and zinc are some ones that are majorly important that you may have heard of before. The best way to get your immune boosters are through eating colorful fruits and veggies, green veggies, quality protein, and healthy fats. During Flu season, taking a multivitamin in addition to having a healthy balanced diet is key to make sure you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay on top of viruses. There are a few supplements that many people like to take in addition to multis to help boost their immune system. Herbs like Rhodiola and Ashwagandha are examples of extra measures to ensure you stay healthy and continue to thrive in the gym. Before taking any supplements make sure to talk with your doctor to be sure they’re good for you to take with other medications or on their own.
Above All Else Get Enough Sleep
If nothing else we’ve talked about today sounds good to you, try adding a few more hours of downtime. Shut down any electronic devices, take a bath, light a candle, stretch. Start winding down and let your body rest more. This helps the body focus on fighting foreign bodies instead of our eyelids. Sleep deprivation can contribute to many diseases in the world. If you do nothing else, get at least 8 hours every night, especially when your immune system is on high alert.