Boost your immune system and stay healthy with this guide!
With the majority of the world on lockdown, it’s fair to say times are tough. Since the spread of the coronavirus, keeping fit is extremely important right now, and although your gym might be closed or you can’t go out for your daily run, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy. To keep your immune system in tip-top condition and to give your body the exercise it needs, we’re walking you through our exercise and nutrition guide! We’ve got a range of at-home workouts suitable for all exercise levels, plus some nutritional tips to help boost your immune system – and don’t worry, you won’t have to buy any gym equipment!
Exercises to try:
Squats are great for working out your leg muscles and really help your lower body mobility. Most people often struggle with getting the correct technique when trying to do squats, so make sure your position and posture are right! Squats can help strengthen the muscles around your knees and hips, which will improve your mobility and help you to stay healthy. To do a squat, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and arms out. You’ll then squat down and sit back as if you’re going to sit in a chair, keeping your knees behind your toes and your back straight. Repeat this every day as many times as your body will allow, and try to stay in reps of 5-10 if you can. By the time the coronavirus is dealt with and the world comes out of lockdown, you’ll be a pro!
If you want to try an exercise that works your arms and core, shoulder taps are a good choice. Start in the standard push-up position, arms straight out under your shoulders with your body making a straight line from your ankles to shoulders. Then simply reach and touch your opposite shoulder with each hand one at a time, alternating between hands as you go. Make sure to keep your lower body stable and your hips from rotating as you tap each shoulder. This move is great for core fitness and is an easy exercise to help you to stay healthy. If you need extra help or a visual on how to do shoulder taps, Skimble’s Workout Trainer app has some great videos and training programs you can try on Android and iOS.
Stomach crunches are a great way to stay healthy and keep your core muscles in shape. To do a stomach crunch correctly and safely, lie with you back flat on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Gently places your fingers on the back of your head or on your ears, keeping your elbows out nice and wide. Then slowly curl up towards your knees, remembering not to strain your neck and to engage the centre of your stomach. For beginners, start by doing as many reps as you can and slowly try to build your number of reps up each day. Make sure you log and keep track of your reps, we suggest using the Fitocracy app to do this on iOS and the Simple Workout Log app for Android.
Burpees are a full-body strength training exercise that most of us love to hate. There are so many different variations of burpees which tends to put a lot of people off, but they’re a fantastic way to stay healthy and keep your whole body fit. Don’t be fooled by the advanced burpees you see online, beginners can do burpees and they’re much simpler than you might think! Start off by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. From the standing position, you will squat down, and jump into a plank position and let your chest touch the floor. You will then jump back into a squat, and finish off your burpee with a pencil jump into a standing position. Don’t worry if you can’t do many, just do as much as your body will allow! If you want to try out different kinds of burpees and find which one is best for you, check out Joe Wick’s 20 burpee variations – you can even try doing all the variations along with him, kind of like a social-distancing PT burpee session!
Nutritional tips to try:
With the coronavirus spreading rapidly throughout the world, it’s important that our immune systems stay healthy. Vitamin C has been scientifically proven to boost your blood antioxidant levels by 30%, which in turn will lead to a healthier and stronger immune system. Along with strengthening your body’s natural defences, Vitamin C is also pretty easy to find, as it’s in lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. The easiest way to boost your Vitamin C intake is by making a smoothie with lots of citrus fruits. Although there are mixed views on whether Vitamin C can successfully help you fight off infections, it’s worth a try.
Omega 3 has lots of benefits that will help your body to stay healthy. At the moment, people’s main focus is to boost immunity in hopes of not catching the coronavirus. But within this extreme need to keep your body in perfect condition, some of us are forgetting the other parts of our bodies we need to look after. Whether you are in self-isolation due to showing symptoms of the virus, or you’re just staying indoors to lessen your chances of catching it, you still need to take care of your mental wellbeing. Omega 3 has been shown to help fight off depression and anxiety and improve the symptoms. Since we have all been confined to our homes, with some of us being completely isolated, it’s even more important than ever that you stay healthy mentally. To get an extra helping of Omega 3, try eating fish-based meals or try to incorporate chia seeds and flaxseeds into your diet.
For those who want an easy way of making both their meals and drinks healthy, ginger is a great option. The plant root has been shown to have antimicrobial and antiviral effects, as well as immune-boosting benefits. Ginger is loaded with antioxidants which helps to fight off infections and diseases like heart disease, lung disease, and high blood pressure. You can add ginger into drinks and savoury meals easily. To drink, try making fresh ginger tea or for a quick boost, ginger shots. If you want to incorporate ginger into your meals, why not try a ginger sauce to go with Chinese-style dishes? If none of those tickles your fancy, you can always have a cheat day and bake some gingerbread!