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Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Build up a strong immune system to help fight Covid-19

What a great week of weather we have just had, but the temperature has dropped and there may be a few more cold wet days ahead of us. That doesn’t mean we have to hibernate in the hope we will get to spring without worrying about our health and well-being.

Now more than ever (all the time really), we need to strengthen our immune system. It’s a simple fact: If you have a strong immune system you have a better chance of fighting any disease, including Covid -19. Sitting in a nice warm house every evening stuffing your face with junk food while you watch more junk on TV is not going to make us into immune superheroes. So here is a list of helpful ways that will help sky-rocket your immune system this winter

Get outside
If you have been reading my articles for a while you will know that I’m a massive advocate for getting outdoors. The fresh air, sunlight (even without much sun), water, nature and open space all add to developing a strong immune system. Exposing ourselves to the elements will help our healthy and well-being far more than bingeing on a Netflix documentary.
The extra bonus is that we have some of the most breathtaking views and natural sights in the world.

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Get dirty
When you are outside, don’t be afraid to get a little bit of dirt on your hands.
Mother nature is full of environmental microbes that help build our immune system. So the next time you or a child gets natural dirt on their hands don’t be too quick to wipe it off. Just let mother nature do her work.

Supplement with vitamin D
September in Ireland always seems to throw up an Indian Summer, but all good things must come to an end.
With later sunrises and early sunsets our opportunity and the strength of sunlight exposure on our skin is very limited. I would advise during the winter months to invest in a good vitamin D supplement and while you are at it, maybe look at other supplement options that you may not be getting from your food and environment choices.

In-season fresh food
Eating foods that are in-season and local means they are full of nutrients that will help build our immune system plus they are lighter on you purse as well. Stick to root vegetables likes carrots, squash, pumpkin and sweet potato. Adding in brown rice, quinoa and oats for your grains and topped off with legumes like chickpeas and lentils with a side helping of green vegetables like broccoli, spinach and kale is a winning combination towards building that superhero immune system.
Granted these may be hard to source from local producers but they will still pack enough nutrients that the body needs.

Move everyday
Getting outside and moving is the best combination we can ask for, but when getting outside is not an option we still need to move everyday. This can be a five-minute stretch, taking work breaks to stretch, follow an online workout or yoga sessions or hitting the gym first thing in the morning. It doesn’t matter what you do – as long as you are moving then you are winning.

Take a ‘me’ day
One of the biggest suppressants of our immune system is stress. When we are stressed we run a high risk of falling ill.
When you are already stressed then adding a cold or flu on top of that is something you don’t want. So before the stress builds up take some time just for you and I recommend a full day.
No diary, no appointments and if you’re in luck no kids. Take some time to recharge and you will come back ready to attack anything life throws at you.

Let go of negative emotions
Our mood and how we think could be the biggest factor on our immune system. If you let negative emotions like fear, worry, stress and pity rule you then you are also destroying your immune system along the way.
If we look at the flipside of being grateful, show empathy and enjoy everything that is good in our lives then we will build our confidence and immune system all at the same time. I know which one I would rather concentrate on. Follow through on these tips and you will stand a better chance when any flu comes your way.

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