Immunity or Immune system is that innate defense mechanism which shields your body from a majority of infections and illnesses. This mechanism can be nourished and maintained with healthy food and good exercise.
We are always used to taking expensive and insane levels of different types of medicines whenever we fall ill or have any disease. What we tend to forget every time is that we are God’s most elaborate creation and that we as humans have been naturally gifted with the innate ability to ward off any disease without the help of any medicine or pill. It is only when due to our incompetency our innate ability weakens, that our body becomes more prone to contracting any sort of disease. Immunity or Immune system is that innate defense mechanism which shields your body from a majority of infections and illnesses. This mechanism can be nourished and maintained with healthy food and good exercise. Especially now when we are in the wake of a pandemic and respiratory illnesses are on the rise, it is very important for individuals to know how to increase immunity power. This will be beneficial in keeping them safe from any disease or illness.
Tips to improve immunity power:
Now that we know how important it is to increase your immunity, let’s understand some ways in which we can increase the immune system power of the body. Before we begin with discussing the tips on how to increase immunity power one must understand that increasing or simply maintaining your body’s immune defence is not rocket science and just requires mere discipline and unconditional commitment towards your own health. We will be segregating these tips into three primary categories where we’ll be talking about foods, exercise and general guidelines to be followed for increasing immunity whilst staying at home.
This is a form of cardio that can be pursued daily for a limited duration to improve stamina and strengthen your immune system. You can keep a target of running on a treadmill for at least 30 minutes daily, you may increase the speed or duration of workout based on comfort and stamina.
An interesting form of exercise that combines the best of dance with workout. It is instrumental in keeping you active throughout the day and also sweating a few calories thus causing loss of weight.
Pilates is one of the simplest and best forms of stretching exercise that helps you shed off those extra kilos, improve your core balance and muscle endurance. You can follow the below-mentioned steps to achieve best results.
Supine Pilates Movements:
a. Bridge: Press your weight evenly onto the feet, shoulders, and arms as you squeeze and lift your hips into the air until your body forms a straight line between your shoulders and knees, hold the pose as you inhale and exhale three times, lower yourself back to the floor.
b. Leg circles: Keep your hips stable as you trace circles in the air with your right leg, reverse the direction of the circle and trace five circles going the other way. Put your leg back on the ground.
c. Abdominal Criss-cross: Pull knees to the chest. Raise your head and neck and place your hands behind your head. Extend your right leg out straight and gently twist your body so your right elbow moves toward your left bent knee. Bend your right knee and bring it back to your chest again, and as you do so, straighten your left leg out and gently twist your body so your left elbow moves toward your right bent knee.
Prone Pilates Movements:
a. Swan: Place hands under shoulders, press pubic bone and palms against the ground as you lift the face, neck up to chest off the ground, bending the lower back. Inhale, exhale and put yourself back down.
b. Swim: Straighten the arms in front, press the thighs and heels and lift face and neck off the ground, lift your arms and legs as you complete a swim stroke in air.
c. T: Form a T with hands raised off the ground and spread perpendicular to the body, hips and thighs pressed, with feet pressed together and raised above the ground.
One of the best forms of exercise that helps you improve body balance and tone down the extra flab in the abdomen region. One can perform any form of the plank based on the intention of workout.
High plank- Rest your toes and palm on the ground keeping hands and legs straight in the push-up position, body lifted off the floor hold for at least 10-15 seconds
Forearm plank-Rest your toes, forearm and elbows on the ground keeping back straight in the push-up position, body lifted off the floor hold for at least 10-15 seconds
Side plank- Rest your toes and right palm on the ground, rotate the body to the left, balance on the right arm with both feet stacked on one another keeping the other hand raised in air and legs straight, hold for at least 10-15 seconds
Reverse plank- Sit up straight with your legs stretched out in front of you. Place your hands on either side of your body, with your fingertips facing toward your legs. Keep your feet on the floor, point your toes, and straighten your legs as you lift yourself with your arms, whilst maintaining contact of palms and heels to the ground.
Workout on an exercise bike can help you tone your legs and give them a good shape. A simple or an exquisite exercise bike can be bought online as per the individual’s choice. Keep a target of at least 30 minutes daily varying speed of bike and duration of workout with respect to stamina and comfort.
Foods to increase immunity power:
Citrus Fruits- Fruits like oranges, lemons, sweet lime, kumquat, etc that are rich in Vitamin C help boost immunity power.
Watermelon- It is packed with Vitamin A, B and C and essential minerals including potassium and magnesium. It can be consumed raw, diced into pieces or in the form of fresh juice without adding sugar.
Pomegranate- It is rich in fiber, Vitamins C and K and essential minerals like potassium. This fruit can be eaten raw or in the form of fresh juice without sugar.
Garlic- Garlic is rich in flavonoids and packed with the goodness of antimicrobial properties that help combat sickness or any incoming infection.
Mushroom- A good source of essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper and potassium, some amount of fiber, Vitamin B and low on calories.
Green Veggies- Enriched with the goodness of carotenoids, fiber and minerals like iron and calcium and Vitamins C and K respectively
Almonds- Contains Vitamin E, fiber, protein and micro minerals like manganese and magnesium.
Walnuts- Contains antioxidant properties filled omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamins E and K, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, iron, selenium, calcium and zinc like minerals.
Pistachios- Contains fiber, potassium, phosphorus and some amounts of carbohydrates and fats.
Cashews- Contains significant levels of carbs, fats and some amounts of protein, calcium and iron.
Tea- According to a study conducted in 2003, the naturally occurring chemicals in tea called alkylamines to help strengthen the immune system.
Chia- Packed with calcium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous with some amounts of fiber and fats.
Flaxseed- Loaded with carbs, fiber, proteins and saturated, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
Probiotics- Probiotics for those who are unaware of the term are basically live bacteria and yeast that provide health benefits to your body upon consumption. So how do you ensure eating of items that you can’t see with your naked eye? Well, fermented foods like yoghurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi or sourdough contain natural probiotics and should be consumed to maintain gut microbiota and eventually improve the immune defences.
Herbs- Herbs like elderberry and andrographis help reduce the incidence of illnesses and increase the resistance of the body towards incoming diseases.
Raw Tulsi leaves- Tulsi contains anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve headache, cold or flu and lower the risk of heart disease and inflammatory bowel conditions.
General guidelines to improve immunity power:
Getting enough sleep:
Research has shown that sleep deprivation can increase the levels of the hormone cortisol in the body, which upon prolonged elevation can suppress the immune system. Thus it is very important to get enough quality sleep at night.
Overload of stress has shown to create hormonal imbalances in the body, which eventually tend to weaken your immune system. Thus, remain stress-free, look out for activities like meditation, dance, painting or anything else that will help you bust your stress and attain mental peace.
Cut down on consumption of alcohol:
Before we talk about foods to improve immunity, it is essential to know all those things that cannot be consumed or whose proportions have to be restricted to help improve immunity. Alcohol is one of those things that need to be restricted when it comes to maintaining good health and immune system. Excessive consumption of alcohol impairs the immune system and increases the vulnerability of lung and other respiratory infections.
Avoid smoking or tobacco in any form:
It's high time people understand that ‘Smoking Kills’ is not merely a statutory warning but a reality. Smoking or tobacco consumption impairs your immune responses, raises the risk of bronchitis, pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses in adults and causes middle ear infections in kids.
Soaking in the sun:
One of the best ways on how to increase immunity will always end at on the door of improving the levels of Vitamin D. It is basic textbook science that we all have read in school, that early morning sun rays are amongst the best sources of vitamin D. So wake up early, bask in the sun’s glory, let those rays fall on you for a duration of about 15 to 20 minutes. This much time is sufficient to let the magic of Vitamin D work and supercharge your immune system.
Considering the fact that hands are always in contact with something, especially mobiles these days, it is a no brainer that they are prone to the maximum number of germs. When these hands touch your eyes, nose or mouth, it becomes all the way easier for these germs to enter your body. Thus in order to maintain good hand hygiene ensure that you frequently wash your hands with soap water or sanitize them.
Maintain a healthy weight:
There is no such thing as ideal weight, but definitely something called a ‘healthy weight’. People tend to go on these enormous diets and restrict themselves from enjoying the delicacies they love. As a result, they tend to overeat, get overweight, or even in some cases become very weak. Thus it is very important to realise what is healthy weight for your body type, height and age. Maintaining a healthy weight overall ensures that you stay healthy with good immunity.
Laughter is the best medicine’, sounds cliche right? But it is true! Laughing out loud, staying positive and calm and worrying less over your problems can help you in ways you can’t even imagine. So ensure that you always surround yourself with laughter, fun and enjoyment. This is one of those weird sciences that will actually not be able to explain itself to you on how it eventually increases immunity power but something whose effects will eventually be experienced by you.
Thus, instead of getting sick and then relying on expensive and not so tasty medicines, it is best you boost your immunity and empower yourself in this combat against any incoming disease or illness.