Give Your Immune System a Boost
by the Workout Girl
The office is a germ playground. First, you hear about someone on another team getting the flu. Then, the co-worker who sits next to you starts coughing. You start to panic and wish you could walk around the office with a face mask without looking creepy. Since HR probably won’t let you quarantine your desk, here are some tips to leverage diet and fitness to boost your immune system:
Exercise Regularly: Raising your heart rate for 20 minutes at least three times per week can increase your level of leukocytes, which are immune system cells that fight infection. Regular fitness also gives you a boost of endorphins, which put you in a good mood and can help you sleep more soundly; these endorphin benefits can have positive impacts on your immune system, as well.
Amp Up Your Antioxidants: Brightly colored fruits and vegetables — like berries, citrus fruits, kale, carrots, and spinach — are chock-full of antioxidants that help to neutralize free radicals, or molecules that can damage cells in your body.
Catch Some Zs: If you’re sleep deprived, you are more susceptible to getting sick. Experts recommend getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night.
Chill Out: Chronic stress can suppress your immune system. If you’re stressed, you are also unlikely to get a good night’s rest. Next time you feel stressed, try to close your eyes and take slow, deep breaths. Yoga can also help to clear your mind since you need to focus on your body to hold challenging, active poses.
Get your sweat on and keep the germs away! Check out theworkoutgirl.com for print-and-go workouts you can do anywhere.