Looking to exercise regularly and incorporate self-care habits at home? Check out these tips that can help you practice a healthy lifestyle and give your immunity the boost it needs to help keep you well.
Create structure and re-establish self-care routines.
During these uncertain times, it’s essential for us to get back into a groove and find structure. We now have more time in our day to map out our week. If you’re working from home, it may serve you well to wake up at the same time every morning and follow the same getting ready routine you would if you were headed into work.
Practice mindfulness, breathwork and meditation.
Evidence suggests that meditation helps keep our immune systems functioning optimally accordingly to a 2017 publication in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. This is because it decreases negative stress, offering a boost to our immunity. One of my favorite self-care routines involves doing breathwork and meditation to set the tone for my day. One way to practice this is to give yourself permission to focus on your breath in the morning, and ease into your day before jumping in front of a screen. This can also be done at the end of the day, or anytime you feel stressed or anxious.
If you’re looking to give mindfulness meditation a try, check out our guided meditation videos.
Create time for your exercise regime.
Participating in regular movement and exercise practice is a great way to manage stress and strengthen your immune system. A 2013 study in The Scientific World Journal shows that individuals who engage in a regular physical activity program have lower incidence of illness and infection compared to their sedentary counterparts. If you’re lost and unsure of how to get started with an exercise program, or are interested in enhancing the program you’re already following, Beach Cities Health District’s Center for Health & Fitness is offering several online options to keep you healthy at home:
Log those Z’s!
Not only can maintaining good sleep habits enhance your youthful exuberance, but according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), getting enough sleep per night can also boost your immunity. The NSF recommends aiming for seven to eight hours of shut eye per night. It is also recommended you go to bed at roughly the same time each night, which can assist with getting up at the same time each morning-- thus creating a healthy routine. Afternoon naps can also be helpful. Though the NSF recommends not exceeding 30-minute sessions as this can lead you into the deeper stages of sleep, which can cause a sensation of grogginess upon waking. Per the NSF, taking two naps less than 30 minutes in duration-- one in the morning and one in the afternoon-- has been proven to decrease stress, improve alertness and offset the negative effects of sleep deprivation. If this is not a realistic goal, a 20-minute nap during a lunch break, after work or before dinner could be helpful. Be sure to set an alarm, as sleeping past your 20-30-minute nap could interfere with your evening sleep habits.
Black, D. S., & Slavich, G. M. (2016). Mindfulness meditation and the immune system: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1373(1), 13–24.
Boost Your Health with Better Sleep. (2020). Retrieved April 6, 2020, from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/how-sleep-affects-your-immunity
Huang, C. J., Zourdos, M. C., Jo, E., & Ormsbee, M. J. (2013). Influence of physical activity and nutrition on obesity-related immune function. The Scientific World Journal, 2013, 752071.