As more students and teachers are returning to in-person learning at school, and more adults are returning to their workplace, you may be concerned about staying healthy this fall and winter. Here are some tips, from SlimFast Plan Consultant and Registered Dietitian, Maryann Walsh, to boost your immunity.
1. Get Plenty of Exercise
Daily exercise can help reduce stress and is a great boost for one’s overall health and well-being and research shows it can support immunity as well! Higher levels of habitual physical activity was shown to be associated with a 31% risk reduction of community-acquired infectious diseases1. A good rule of thumb is to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. Going for walks, riding your bike or doing an exercise video can get the heart pumping, while activities like resistance training or weight lifting can help support lean muscle mass growth. Make it fun and choose something you will stick with!
*Remember to always check with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine.
2. Eat a Healthy, Balanced Diet
It is so important to eat the rainbow! Fruit and vegetables contain immune-supporting antioxidants and phytochemicals and each color represents a different one! Fill half your plate with colorful foods like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, spinach, broccoli, and kale.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can lead to numerous health issues, both physical and cognitive but it can also lead to a weakened immune system. Lack of sleep is correlated with higher levels of cortisol, the body’s stress hormone. Stress is known to suppress the immune system. Studies have shown that less than 5 hours of sleep negatively affects the immune system, and that 7 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal for adults, and 9 to 11 hours of sleep is ideal for school-age children2.
4. Incorporate Prebotics and Probiotics into Your Diet!
Probiotics and prebiotics can help support a balance of healthy bacteria in the gut, which is important for immunity because 60-70% of your immune system lives in your gut!3 Incorporate probiotic-containing foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi into your diet along with prebiotic-containing foods such a garlic, onions, bananas, asparagus and artichokes. Inulin is a source of prebiotic fiber as well and is found in many of the SlimFast Keto Fat Bomb meal bars and snacks!
- Chastin, S.F.M., Abaraogu, U., Bourgois, J.G. et al.Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Immune System, Vaccination and Risk of Community-Acquired Infectious Disease in the General Population: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med 51, 1673–1686 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01466-1
- Your guide to healthy sleep. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/sleep/healthy-sleep . Accessed May 27, 2015.
A consultant of the SlimFast® Plan, Maryann is a Registered Dietitian with Bachelors degrees in Biological Sciences and Dietetics and a Masters of Food and Nutrition. She has extensive experience working with clients of all ages and from all walks of life, helping them to achieve their wellness and weight-loss goals. Learn more about Maryann.