4 Ways to Boost Your Immune System

COVID-19 has everyone wondering whether their immune system is as strong as it could be. Experts indicate that people with compromised immune systems are more susceptible to severe effects from the coronavirus. In this climate of uncertainty, it’s important that women take vital steps to shore up their defenses against all kinds of sickness.

Whether you suffer from a medical condition like thyroid disease or endometriosis, or are currently trying to conceive or undergoing fertility treatments, you can use all of these natural and simple methods to give your body a fighting chance against disease.

  1. Want to learn more about ASRM guidelines about fertility treatments during COVID-19? Go here to read an updated post on fertility and women’s health.

  2. Visit this page on our site to stay in the loop about all things COVID-19 and women’s wellness.

1. Rest

Obvious? Yes. Are we doing it? Probably not. Rest is about more than a tight eight hours of sleep, although sleep is very important for your immune system. Rest is also related to stress. Medical researchers have found that psychological stress dysregulates your immune system, putting you at risk for illness. Your immunological response to stress can increase inflammatory responses, which actually makes you more susceptible to bacteria.

Rest for Immune System Health

It’s pretty evident that you can’t remove the current stressors of this pandemic. Social isolation, working from home and even homeschooling are part of our new normal… for now. In this season, though, overwhelming stress can augment all of the other challenges and simply won’t make anything better. Find moments of rest by:

  • Sleep routines that include a “wind down hour”

  • Self massage

  • Practice acceptance and intentionality

  • Set aside alone time, even if it’s outdoors or on a walk

  • Meditate

Focusing on your well-being and taking intentional pauses throughout these harried and hectic days is essential to staying healthy.

2. Nutrition

There are ways to access nutritious foods, even without going to the grocery store as often. Diet and immune function are closely linked. Having an “activated” immune system will increase energy to fight infection. This helps your body have an effective response to pathogens and avoid inflammation. Macronutrients and micronutrients are both essential. Even a small quantity of things like vitamin A and zinc will improve your immune system.

Gut Health for Your Immune System

Another immensely important area of your nutrition is your microbiome, or gut health. How well you process and digest food and the health of the bacteria in your gut is essential to good immune function.

If you want to learn more about the role the microbiome plays in women’s health, listen to Georgie Kovac’s recent podcast with Guy Daniels from Onegevity:

3. Exercise

The COVID-19 clinic closures and rehab pauses are challenging for many women, especially those with chronic pelvic floor conditions and other health issues. Exercise is a powerful way to keep your immune system strong as well. Regular movement, even from something as simple as a walk, can have numerous benefits:

  • Flushes bacteria out of your lungs and airways

  • Changes antibodies and white blood cells, which fight disease

  • Rise in body temperature during exercise can prevent bacteria growth

  • Decreases the activity of stress hormones

There are many apps and virtual systems that are now available for free. Download a free, extended trial of exercise apps from some of the following platforms, which have customized options for women:

  • Peloton app has cycling, outdoor exercise, strength training and more.

  • Planet Fitness is offering non-members a chance to participate in “Home Work-Ins” which are live streamed

  • Down Dog Yoga App is offering free access for some people until July 1

  • Run by a husband and wife team, the super popular Fitness Blender YouTube channel has over 600 free videos for working out at all levels

  • Yoga by Adrienne has peaceful, gentle and meditative workouts - she is another YouTube favorite, with 6.83 million subscribers

If you have specific issues that you were previously in physical therapy for, such as pelvic floor therapy, you may still be able to receive telehealth care from a qualified provider.

4. Supplements

The micronutrients we referenced earlier may be obtainable in your diet, but some people may also choose to supplement. There are several resources for great supplements to shore up gaps in a healthy diet. Some of the power players in immune system supplementation include:

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin B6

  • Vitamin E

  • Vitamin A

  • Omega Fatty Acids

  • Zinc

Many people are also using natural products to fight sickness. These include alternative remedies such as:

  • Elderberry

  • Colloidal silver

  • Essential oils

These are not technically supplements but can be used at the recommendation of a naturopathic doctor to maintain a healthy life.