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April 29, 2020
5 easy ways to boost your immune system!

We should all take care of our health and our bodies every day, and of course do things that fill us with energy and that help us maintain a normal and balanced weight. Since the situation requires it more than ever, I have to say that we should make the decision and change some things in our daily lives regarding physical activity, diet, stress and the rest that our body needs! We can start now by making some simple and small but -at the same time- important changes in our daily lives that will have positive impact on our health and our mood.

1. Try to maintain a stable body weight.

Maintaining a healthy body weight, is more important than ever I have to say, since most people have “relaxed” quite a lot! Yes, during this time, we certainly do not move as much as we used to in our daily lives, but the possibilities for exercise have greatly increased. I see a lot of fitness coaches offering plenty of programs that everyone can do at home. Of course, we should do everything carefully and follow the advice of our trainer or doctor. So, by paying close attention to our diet and by exercising for 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, we will definitely avoid weight gain. Don't forget that regular physical activity seems to reduce inflammation while it also helps up strengthen our immune system!

2. Do not forget to eat your fruits and vegetables!

We have already mentioned that countless times, just like the fact that we need to have complete meals that contain protein, complex carbs, and "good" fats as well. I think you already know that vegetables and fruits should be part of our every meal - specifically the ½ of our dish - and that we should consume a variety of them or -as we say to children- all the colors of the rainbow in fruits and vegetables! In addition, there are several experts emphasizing on that plenty of times recently. Fruits and vegetables give us a variety of vitamins and minerals, and especially vitamins A, C, E, and selenium that act as antioxidants and strengthen our immune system.

3. Sleep is important!

In case you don’t know it, prolonged sleep deprivation in combination with stress can cause chronic inflammation and reduced normal immune function. So, don't miss the chance that is given to you…Simply rest! 

The fact that we need to rest properly and -specifically- to sleep 8-10 hours a day is something that you should add to your schedule. Just think about how well you work and how efficient you are on the days you are rested. That can’t be a coincidence! Experts say that sleep is a necessary part of our daily lives so that the body can respond better and cope better with any kind of disease.

4. Get some sun.

I don't mean sunbathing, of course, just going out in the sun to be able to synthesize vitamin D or as some call it the sunshine vitamin! A few minutes each day, either on the balcony or going for a walk, are enough. Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, it contributes to the formation of healthy bones, teeth, and muscles, but also to the strengthening of the immune system. Some studies even show that it contributes positively to mental health and specifically to better management and reduction of depression; however, this is something that is still being researched.

I imagine you know that plenty of people have a deficiency in this particular vitamin nowadays. Therefore, it is even more necessary to strengthen our body during this period of time, since we are staying more inside. You can find it in fatty fish, in the egg yolk, while milk and some cereals are fortified with this vitamin. But don't forget to go out in the sun to complete its synthesis!

5. Reduce stress and anxiety.

It is certainly a difficult time for all of us. Everything that happens is something new for the entire humanity. I don't want to tell you that we have to look at things more positively, because I know that this is probably difficult for some of you. What I would advise you is to do things that make you feel good in your everyday life, to be creative, to dedicate time to yourself…You can take a short walk, read a book, cook - preferably some of my recipes smiley -, paint, make a puzzle, or watch a movie/series. This way, by boosting our mood, we help - even a little - our immune system.

What do you think? I believe that the above are a few things that we can easily follow in our daily lives, and by making these small changes we can strengthen our mood and our health as well!

Akis

This article was written in collaboration with the Sports Nutritionist Anna Maria Volanaki, MSc, BDA, SENr.

*The above information is based on published research findings.

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