In the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, it is easy to feel overwhelming anxiety towards contracting the disease, which can lead to irrational behaviour. Prevention is better than cure, and good hygiene such as hand washing is a valuable defense against infections. See Australian Government advice: Covid 19 What you need to know

However, it’s essential to know what protects us from getting sick is primarily due to our Immune System. Every day our body is exposed to millions of germs, it’s our immune system that neutralizes the effect of dangerous microorganisms that will harm our body if allowed to invade.

Have faith in your body in these troubled times and treat it with respect. I’m not saying to fall into thinking there’s no real threat, but it is not productive to act as if we are at an apocalyptic point of no return.

Both of these reactions lead to self-destructive behavior that will harm our (and those around us) mental and physical health. Instead, resist panic and complacency and use this opportunity to focus on establishing a daily regimen of self-care. Good health will see you through this pandemic and move you forward into lifelong health and well-being practices.

What is the Immune System?

There are two types of immunity systems working together in our body. The immunity system  we are born with is called the innate system, and the other is an adaptive or active system. The adaptive immune system “learns” from exposure to disease or through vaccines, developing anti-agents to keep the body from succumbing to the same illness twice.

Therefore in the current major health crisis, we must focus on maintaining the health of our immune system as our first priority.

Here are 3 steps to better “bullet proof” your immune system:


1. Get Enough Sleep:

Now is not the time for the bravado of “coping” with life’s pressures without adequate sleep. During sleep, the immune system releases proteins, (cytokines) needed to fight an infection or inflammation, or repair a body under stress. Sleep deprivation decreases production of these protective proteins making us more vulnerable to illness. Further, researchers from Germany found that sound sleep improves immune cells known as T cells.

Dr Stoyan Dimitrov, the author of the study, said: “T cells are a type of… immune cells that fight against intracellular pathogens, for example, virus-infected cells such as flu, HIV, herpes, and cancer cells.”  

Also in an article published in Science Daily, Dr Besedovsky says; “…these findings indicate a specific role of sleep in the formation of immunological memory.”

If you have trouble sleeping, then perhaps relaxation mediation such as Yoga Nidra will suit you. Yoga Nidra is known as yogic sleep, it is a conscious relaxation and meditation practice that helps to bring on a calming of the physical, mental, and emotional state. If you would like to try a 10 minute Yoga Nidra practice, here is one from LaiLin Yoga. Click: 10 minute Yoga Nidra


2. Implement a Wholefood Diet:

80% of our immune system’s activity happens in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT).  If you find this information mind-blowing, then it will be easy for you to understand the importance of eating whole foods to building a robust immunity system.

Gut microbes get their nutrients from the food we eat. Therefore a diet high in palatable energy-dense processed food, that includes high levels of animal protein, saturated fats, sugar and salt, but low in plant-based fibre, is unlikely to promote a healthy immune system.

The science of gut health is extraordinarily complicated and difficult to summarize. Mother Nature has a simple solution; she designed the human body to extract nutrients from whole foods to maintain the body’s immune system. The process starts in the mouth with food that can be chewed.

I can’t stress enough; the easiest way to improve your immune system is to ingest more vegetables! At least 5 serves – a serve is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables (salad) – DAILY.

Keep your diet planning simple, eat food you can trance back to Mother Nature and leave industrially processed food on the shelf of your supermarket. Always remember; natural food such as an apple doesn’t need a label for you to know it’s healthy and full of nutrients.

3. Daily Exercise:  

There is no scientific evidence that has shown a direct link between exercise and a healthy immune system. But it doesn’t mean –  it doesn’t exist. In the absence of science, I follow an intuitive directive and I have come to believe exercise is like the wind, you can’t see it working, but you can feel its effect.

Here are a few theories that make exercising common sense:

  • Exercise increases airflow through the lungs helping to flush out bacteria that may otherwise remain and multiply in a moist and idle condition.
  • Exercise increases blood flow through the body. Blood carries the body’s immune system cells (white blood cells) fighting disease by detecting and neutralizing illness-causing pathogens faster and more efficiently.
  • Becoming hot and sweaty during exercise may help fight infection, much like a fever (hot and sweaty) helps prevent bacteria from growing when we are sick.
  • Exercise forces the body to rebuild and renew, it slows down the release of stress hormones that damage the body making it more vulnerable to infections and illness.

The list of health benefits from daily exercise is genuinely impressive. However, overdoing exercise can also cause the immunity system harm. Repairs to an over-exercised body takes away resources the body needs to maintain a robust immune system.

Can you find 9 Minutes for your Health & WELLth?

I can sincerely appreciate if you are stunned into inaction when faced with a gazillion exercise options. But before the math starts to overwhelm you, I’m asking you….What is stopping you right now from exercising for just 9 minutes?  Now is the best time to start your 9 minute workout.

  1. Download: Your 9-minute Beginner Program
  2. Click: Your 9-minute timer
  3. Workout: 3 exercises, 1 minute each, repeat 3 times.

The 9-minute fitness WELLth program combines the science of Cardio, Core and Strength Training with mindful practice. Each week the program focus is on one of the 5 essential components of fitness: Balance, Agility, Cardio, Core, and Strength (BACCS). Exercising 9 minutes daily using the WELLth Program will take your body to your next level of fitness and help keep your immune system healthy.

Are you ready to get fit and feel better?  Then join our fitness WELLth program email list.  I will send you another 9-minute workout so you can continue your journey with WELLTH! The link is below for you.

  Live well with fitness!  
Written by Anna: Nutritionist and Exercise Coach