It’s no secret that making healthy choices, such as eating right and staying active, will help you maintain a healthier lifestyle. But did you know that there are two actions that can impact how your immune system functions, and how well you fight off infectious disease?
In the ongoing struggle against Covid-19, immune system health has never seemed more important. If you’re interested in strengthening your immune system, contact us at Austin Manual Therapy today.
Here, you will have access to individualized exercise programs and relevant nutritional advice that is based on your specific needs. Our clinic is committed to providing the best possible service to our patients, to ensure you leave Austin Manual Therapy feeling better than when you arrived!
The importance of a well-rounded diet
Your body depends on a combination of many lifestyle factors to fight off infection and disease.
Many factors determine how well your immune system works, such as diet, like sleep, exercise, whether you smoke, and stress.
All the cells in your body, including your immune cells, require certain nutrients to function properly. These nutrients and vitamins improve immune health by working as antioxidants, protecting healthy cells, and supporting immune cell growth.
Vitamin C, D, zinc, selenium, iron and protein are a few examples of the nutrients and vitamins that support immune health.
Crafting a diet that is rich in these vitamins and nutrients is important for building immunity against sickness and disease!
Here are a few examples of healthy diets to help you get started.
- A Probiotic-Rich Diet. This diet features yogurt with live active cultures, fermented vegetables, tempeh, kombucha tea, kimchi, and miso. This diet is excellent for gut health.
- The Mediterranean Diet. This fish-heavy diet is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also high in plant-based fats like olive oils and nuts and is great for heart disease prevention.
- The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet. This diet is low in saturated fats and cholesterol and has a heavy emphasis on fruit and vegetable intake. The DASH diet can reduce hypertension and lower your risk of heart disease.
It’s also important to avoid eating too many processed foods, red meats and refined sugar. These can result in chronic inflammation of the gut and take an overwhelming toll on your body.
How does exercising impact my immune system?
The single most effective strategy to proactively care for your immune system is to live a healthy lifestyle!
When you feed your body the right foods and engage in regular physical activity, your entire body, including your immune system, performs better. Exercise can help you reduce your risk of heart disease. It also helps to maintain the health and strength of your bones.
Although there is no hard evidence to prove that exercise can directly boost your immune system, there are several theories about the role it plays. According to the National Library of Medicine, physical activity may aid in the removal of microorganisms from the lungs and airways. This could help you from catching a cold, flu, or other ailment.
Antibodies and white blood cells may also change as a result of exercise. White blood cells are disease-fighting cells in the body’s immune system. Because these antibodies circulate more quickly, they may be able to identify infections earlier than before.
The temporary increase in body temperature that occurs during and immediately after exercise may help to prevent bacteria from developing. This increase in temperature may aid the body’s ability to fight infection.
It’s important to note that stress can raise your chances of getting sick as well! Exercise lowers your levels of stress hormones, which in turn can prevent you from getting sick.
How can a physical therapist help?
Physical therapy is a safe and effective way to get more exercise into your daily routine.
You may be asked to execute a few exercises or movement patterns at your initial appointment with a physical therapist to help them determine your current fitness level. This initial consultation can also alert your therapist to any weak spots in your body that are giving you pain.
You will then be prescribed a personalized exercise routine that aligns with your body and your fitness goals. Your therapist can also offer you manual therapy or pain-relieving techniques to ensure your exercise experience will be as healthy and painless as possible.
Contact Austin Manual Therapy today to get started!
By now, you may have decided that it’s time to start improving your immune health. If this is the case, know that at Austin Manual Therapy, we are dedicated to helping you achieve this goal!
Our skilled physical therapy team full of movement experts can prescribe you healthy exercise and ultimately help you improve your immune health for life.
Don’t hesitate to change your health for the better. Contact us today!