Good news for those eager to grab back their pre-COVID gains – gyms are reopening! For many, this will be the first time picking up a weight in months, while many of us will be happy to get back into a routine following months of lagging motivation and not quite making those morning live workouts, despite promising to every evening. But, while the return of gyms is exciting news for us all, how can we remain as healthy as possible while enjoying our much-loved lifting sesh?
Following COVID-19, boosting your immune system and staying healthy is more important than ever. Here’s 5 tips to follow to ensure you stand the best chance of remaining fit and well during this time.
1) Get enough shut eye
In other words, make sure you’re getting enough sleep! Our modern-day lifestyles are not friends with sleep. From early morning commutes during rush hour, to late-night gym sessions, it can be a struggle to get 8 hours each night. A small blessing to come out of lockdown has to be the lie in a commute-free life allows. Sleep helps keep your immune system in good form and protects you from heart disease, diabetes, and obesity, so even an extra hour could have it's benefits!
If you don’t get enough shut eye, your body starts producing less cytokines. These are proteins which target infection and inflammation. And, guess what? Cytokines are released during sleep, so, it’s double trouble if you rely on coffee alone to keep you energised.
2) Brush up on your diet
The key to a healthy immune system? A varied, balanced diet. Making sure you include lots of fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy carbohydrates, means your body can get all the vitamins it needs to function.
Protein is also essential for immune health. The amino acids in protein help build and maintain immune cells, so skimping on this could lower your body’s ability to fight infections. Looks like it’s time to grab a Carb Killa® bar.
3) Stay hydrated
Not only does water normally make up 50 - 60% of an adult's total body weight, but staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminate toxins and other bacteria that may cause illness – so incredibly important right now!
Try giving your glass of water a boost with a slice of lemon. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which is known to boost the immune system, prevent disease, fight colds, and protect cells.
4) Keep active
For those of you counting down the days till the gyms open, you’ll know how important fitness is when it comes to boosting your immune system. However, is it counterproductive to train amongst guaranteed sweat and germs? For many of us, home workouts just aren’t cutting it anymore so, as long as you feel comfortable and practice the PPE and health and safety rules put in place by the gym, planning in those lifting sessions isn’t an issue.
While moderate exercise protects and supports your immune system, it’s vital you don’t overdo it. This can cause unnecessary stress and actually weaken it, so make sure you get a good balance of high and low-intensity workouts in your weekly schedule, and don’t forget to stretch!
5) Stock up on multi-vits
Want to give your immune system as much help as possible? While it’s preferable to get your vitamins from whole foods, it isn’t always do-able, so stocking up on mulit-vits is a good shout, ensuring you can pack in the goodness you can’t consume via your diet.