I know during this time you’ve probably seen a MILLION posts and articles similar to mine. Everyone suddenly is either a health professional, doctor, nurse, CDC expert, fitness trainer, or nutritionist. Luckily for you, I’m none of those things. I’m simply a Physical Education and Health teacher with a passion for being fit, eating a healthy diet, and sharing that knowledge and passion with others.
Here’s what that means for you. I have decided to take the THREE best tips from various articles and put them into this one post to make it easy and convenient for you to follow. In this post I will tell you what you can do at home, where you can find certain products, the cost, how it can keep you healthy, and how it will benefit your immune system. Some things are really basic (like just being hydrated and drinking water), while others may involve a change in your diet. (cough, eating fruits and vegetables….) Okay maybe I shouldn’t have put the cough, but you get it. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to ask, either below the post or anywhere you find me on social media.
Tip #1 – Drink water. LOTS of it!
You see this a lot. However when we are just sitting around the house not doing as much, we tend to forget this simple rule. We are made up of 75% water. Our cells, tissues, organs, and bodies thrive off it. Water regularly maintains the upkeep of our body systems, including our immune system. Water helps flush out toxins, brings oxygen to the blood, and is the pillar of maintaining proper health. And since you’re most likely working from home and maintaining adequate social distancing, you don’t have to worry about being near a bathroom! (If you’re interested in leveling up your water drinking skills, you can buy a Brita filter pitcher, 19.99 on Amazon for the 5 cup turquoise edition and you have clean, purified water at your convenience).
Tip #2 – Exercise for a minimum of 20 minutes a day.
This one can be tough. Gyms are closed. You may not have the space or equipment at home. Motivation is low. Anxiety is high. I get it. But somehow you need to muster up the strength and move your body for at least 20 minutes a day. This can include various bodyweight exercises, Yoga, Pilates, or form of stretching or movement is beneficial. If you want to get out of the house and exercise outside that’s even better! Walking, biking, hiking, jogging, and/or running are all great options to get some exercise in outdoors. Local parks or trails are great options, if they decide to stay open, but if not, performing those activities outside on your street are just as beneficial. Plus, being in the sun provides you with Vitamin D, one of the micronutrients I talk about in the next paragraph that also helps your immune system. Exercise on the body does a couple of things. First, it improves blood flow and the amount of oxygen that your heart and body are receiving. Second, it can help flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways. That’s because exercise causes change in our antibodies and white blood cells. Our white blood cells are our body’s immune system cells that fight disease. When they are able to circulate more rapidly like after exercise, they can detect illnesses much earlier. So think of exercise as a much needed boost for your immune system.
Tip # 3 – Eat MORE fruits and vegetables!
Suddenly when there is a nationwide panic to overbuy at your local supermarket, everyone goes for the pasta, the chips, the cookies, and the junk food. (And apparently toilet paper 🤦🏻♂️)
Yes, that food tastes good. No, I am not telling you not to eat it. However, your immune system works BEST when it eats fruits and vegetables, not Oreo’s and Doritos. (Or McDonald’s, Sorry Chris 😜) Fruits and vegetables have one thing that junk food does not, and that is micronutrients. The micronutrients in fruits and vegetables include different vitamins and minerals that helps our bodies and immune system thrive. The more colorful the fruits and vegetables, the better. Think blueberries, strawberries, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, peppers, etc. That’s because they also carry antioxidants. Which is just a fancy word for a substance that inhibits oxidation, or reduces damage done by oxygen. But in truth, they provide considerable help to your immune system. By supplying these nutrients and antioxidants to your immune system, you improve your body’s ability to FIGHT illness.
“But D-rob, what happens when the store doesn’t have any more fruit or vegetables, can I do anything else to help get these nutrients?”
Solid question, glad you asked. Luckily, there are great supplements and green powders out there that offer various servings of fruits and vegetables through one little scoop of powder. They are also not too expensive. One I recommend is from the company Amazing Grass called “Green Superfood”. On Amazon, it’s currently 21.97 for 30 servings, and if you get lucky, can sometimes find it in stock at Stop and shop for the same price. Adding one scoop to any liquid and shaking it up will do the trick. Buy some frozen berries, (all supermarkets I went too this past weekend had these currently in stock), put them in a blender, add some non-dairy milk, one or two scoops of the green superfood, and boom, all your servings of fruits and vegetables in one healthy delicious drink. You want to pig out on your snack food, I am not going to stop you. But add some fruits and vegetables to the mix. Your immune system depends on it.
There you have it. Three of the best tips to staying healthy during social distancing. No I didn’t include washing your hands and general cleanliness because let’s face it, if you still don’t know you should be doing those things than no article or expert will be able to help you. If you want more tips, you can scroll down and read my previous post on tips to eating a healthy diet. They are a little bit more extreme, but provide even more benefits to your body and immune system.
I hope these tips are useful and can help you in the next couple of months.
Don’t forget the power of staying connected to one another and offering support to your friends and family during this hard time. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. We need interaction. We need support. We need love.
Stay healthy my friends,