How to boost your immune system

Jun 10

Remaining healthy is crucial to any working professional – both physically and mentally.

As we continue to adapt to the new normal, whether it be transitioning back into office life or continuing to work from home, the health and wellbeing of 101 Collins’ tenants is of the utmost importance. We spoke to Stephanie Gobbo, a Clinical Nutritionist and Naturopath to discuss the best ways to support the immune system and retain optimal health while we continue to adapt during this period.

Diet

Our diet has a direct impact on our health and is the most important factor to supporting our immune system. If our diet consists of mostly refined sugar, junk food, processed ready-made meals, salt and alcohol, this will negatively impact our health and immunity.

Try to include fresh, healthy wholefoods and embrace home-cooking where you can. By making sure we are getting the correct daily amounts of macro-nutrients (i.e. carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) and micro-nutrients (i.e. calcium, zinc, and vitamin B-6.), our bodies can function at their best.

Sleep

Our body requires sleep to heal and repair. A lack of sleep causes a decrease in the activity of our T-cells and Natural Killer (NK) cells, both of which kill virally infected cells and work to keep our bodies healthy. When these cells decrease in activity  your immune system is weakened, making you more prone to getting sick.

Every adult requires between 7-8 hours of sleep for optimal health, and ideally before 10:30pm. Lack of sleep and insomnia also directly impacts mental health and work productivity.

In a perfect world, we would not have our work desk and our bed in the same room, which compromises our sleep hygiene – the habits and practices that are conducive to sleeping well on a regular basis. Whilst working from home, try and remove all screens 1-2 hours before bedtime for the best quality sleep.

Movement

Moving your body is not only beneficial for your metabolism, but also for boosting your immune system and supporting your mental health. When exercising, powerful endorphins are released, leaving us feeling energised and revitalised. If you are feeling sluggish or unproductive, take some time away from your home desk and move your body. Fresh air is ideal – pop outside for a walk around the block.

If the cooling weather doesn’t permit a daily walk, click here to visit the full list of RISE by Studio PP’s daily virtual fitness classes.

Routine

Your normal daily routine is important to maintain, even when at home. Setting an alarm to maintain a healthy sleep cycle is a great way to support your circadian rhythm – physical, mental, and behavioural changes that follow a daily cycle (otherwise known as your sleep/wake cycle). Schedule in a lunch break and ensure you move your body before or after work. I recommend using the time you have saved from not commuting to work as your regular exercise time.

Get up from your home desk regularly and stretch your body to support good posture and prevent muscle tension and tightness.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is critical to our immune system’s functioning. While the sun is still shining before we head into winter, it is important to have some safe exposure on our limbs to boost our levels. A quick 15-minutes in the morning sun is ideal for maintaining optimal Vitamin D levels.

If you have deficient levels in your blood testing, visit your GP to enquire about a daily Vitamin D supplement.

Liquids

Working from home is a great time to focus on increasing your water intake. Often, people have “at-work” barriers as to why they can’t drink enough water.

Aim to drink 8 cups of water (approx. 2L) per day. Remember – coffee, black tea and alcohol contain caffeine, which can dehydrate your body. Try to avoid soft drinks and sugary juices and replace with water and herbal teas.

Stress management & mental health

Looking after your mental health is just as important as looking after your physical health. When we are stressed, we release adrenalin into the bloodstream, resulting in a loss of efficacy to fight off viral pathogens. Stress also depletes critical immune system nutrients such as Zinc, Vitamin C, B Vitamins and Magnesium.

Try your best to have some stress management techniques in place at home to support during this difficult time.

Remember – taking a proper lunch break, regular movement, a Telehealth appointment with your practitioner or psychologist, a magnesium salt bath, chatting to a friend or your favourite show on Netflix are all wonderful ways to look after your physical and mental health.

To find out more about how your can support your immunity whilst working from home or when returning to the office, contact our studio manager, Carmen via phone on 0436 417 687 or email at rise@101collins.com.au.

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