By: Korey Goodwin, LPN
*Before changing your health and wellness routine, check with your healthcare provider.
Did you also know that you can actually boost your immune system? We are all familiar with effective ways to help keep ourselves and our loved ones safe from germs by washing our hands efficiently, using hand sanitizer and avoiding touching our face, but there’s several other ways to keep your body equipped to combat illness.
Staying hydrated helps to flush toxins out of your body, increases energy, reduces fatigue, takes a load off muscles and joints, thereby enhancing your metabolism. You may also begin to experience a healthy glow to your skin.
Eating right, plain and simple. What does that mean? Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; think of a rainbow. Many of these nutritious foods are packed with micronutrients to improve digestion, gut health and help keep you regular.
Getting the proper rest you need releases a protein known as cytokines, which are needed when you are sick to fight infections and inflammation. Try incorporating a bedtime alarm, signaling to your body it is time for rest, and begin winding things down, during the evening.
Physical activity of any kind helps circulate the blood, increases the number of T-cells (lymphocytes), which help fight germs, improve airways, and flush bacteria out of your lungs. Regular exercise may help your mood, decrease stress, and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Over time, chronic stress will weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to viral illnesses. Practice gratitude, guided mediation, breathe deeply, listen to music, read a book, smile, take time to relax, maintain a healthy diet, take a walk, prioritize, and talk it out with a friend, trusted co-worker, or professional. According to Standford Health, you may also decrease inflammation while you’re at it.
Korey Goodwin is a member of NWI’s Emerging Wellness Professionals Task Force and a Licensed Practical Nurse with Cape Fear Valley Health Systems in North Carolina, where she co-leads the Employee Accountable Care Organization, the 8th largest health system in North Carolina. Korey shares her passion for health and wellness assisting clients in mapping their trajectory to holistic health and well-being through various navigation services, including Transitions of Care, Chronic Disease Management, and Health and Wellness Coaching. Korey is currently enrolled as a student in Wellcoaches School of Coaching to become a board-certified health and wellness coach.