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Strengthen Your Immune System

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Strengthen Your Immune System

Apr 10, 2020 « Back to The Skinny

Chances are, you’ve probably heard the words “social,” “distancing,” and “novel” a lot more than usual lately. (And unfortunately, no, that last one isn’t referring to a book… Although more than a few of us want to “book” the next flight off planet Earth with everything going on.)

It’s also pretty probable you’ve heard the words “immune system” a lot more, too.

So, in the interest of keeping you informed, we’re here to share a few ways you can help keep your immune system strong.  

But first, what makes up our immune systems?

Well, to be honest, it’s pretty complex. (In fact, it’s the second most complex system in your body, just after your nervous system.) It’s made up of a network of cells, tissues, proteins, and organs. And it works 24/7/365 to make sure your body is healthy.[1]

How does weight affect our immune systems?

There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the relationship between our body weight and our immune system; however, we do know that being overweight or obese negatively affects the immune system.[2] 

So, what can you do to strengthen your one and only immune system?

As it turns out, a fair amount. 

Studies show that people who lose weight and practice healthy habits—eating nutritious foods (along with the fun stuff), stress management, and regular physical activity—can better support their immune system. And, as an added bonus, these people also have better luck fighting off chronic disease.

This is where the Naturally Slim (NS) program swoops in to help you, the superhero of your journey, fight off the “bad guys” that are chronic disease, infections, and illnesses!

NS teaches you the skills and strategies you need to reach your health goals AND maintain a strong and resilient immune system.

 

In the program, you’ll do this by learning how to:

Minimize daily (and long-term) stress

How this helps your immune system

Research shows that stress is linked to almost all major diseases, including heart disease, some types of cancer, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes.[3]

One meta-analysis of more than 300 studies showed that stress for any significant duration—several weeks to several years (also known as real life)—led to decreased immunity.[4]

Where NS comes in

Throughout the program, you’ll learn ways to minimize and manage both in-the-moment and long-term stress using strategies like the 3-breath technique and Vital Needs. You’ll also learn our best tips for consistently getting a good night’s sleep.

Along with reducing stress and boosting your immune system, these strategies will help you keep stress-related eating and mindless snacking at bay, which will help you reach your weight loss goals without getting off track. (That’s FOUR wins right there!) 

Here are a couple of quick tips:

Stuck at home and finding it hard to keep from snacking when you aren’t hungry?

When you feel a snack attack coming on, distract yourself! Read a book, go for a quick walk, watch a TV show, scroll through social media, or take a quick nap. Often, keeping your mind busy will help your urge to eat go away!

Starting to feel the impact of social distancing?

Stay connected with other Naturally Slim participants by sharing your story and tips on NSTown®. You can also ask for advice or support from our health coaches here.

 

Keep an eye on nutrition 

How this helps your immune system

Like with nearly everything else in life, good (sustainable) nutrition is about balance. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that eating lean protein as well as food high in fiber and antioxidants is a great way to help keep your body healthy, which in turn, helps keep your immune system strong.

Plus, regularly eating a lot of sugar can increase oxidative damage, which makes it easier to get sick.[5]

Where NS comes in

In the program, we’ll go over simple ways to make sure you’re enjoying foods that support your immune system in addition to your favorites. (Because let’s be real. A world without pizza isn’t a world we want to live in.)

Plus, we also encourage you to try our sugar-savvy strategy: the sugar reset. Our sugar reset helps you find ways to decrease added sugars, which supports our overall health and, you guessed it, our immune systems.

 

Here are a couple of quick tips:

Eat the rainbow

Aim to eat an assortment of fruits and veggies each day, along with your favorite foods! (We think pizza and a side salad make a pretty nice pair!)

Your fruits or veggies can be fresh, frozen, or canned! Just make sure that if they’re canned, they don’t have a lot of added salt or sugar. And if you only have high-sodium versions on hand, you can pour them into a colander and rinse them! Doing that helps reduce sodium by up to 30%![6] 

Savor the flavor

Some of the best sweet treats out there also have a substantial amount of sugar. But saying “so long” to cake and ice cream isn’t something we want you to do! Instead, next time you have a sweet treat, try starting with a smaller portion.

When you eat it, do so slowly and really focus on savoring the flavor. (You can put your fork down in between bites if that helps!) Before grabbing another helping, ask yourself if you feel like you got the taste satisfaction you were looking for. If so, put the rest away for another day. If not, take another small helping and repeat!  

           

Stay movin’ 

How this helps your immune system

Exercise and overall health go hand in hand. In general, people who are physically active throughout the day tend to live longer, healthier lives.[7] Plus, exercise helps fight (and improve) chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and arthritis.[8]

And while the link is not fully understood, there is also reason to believe that exercise improves immune function. Some researchers say it’s because exercise slows the release of stress hormones, while others think the brief rise in body temperature exercise creates helps prevent bacteria from growing.[9] Either way, regular physical activity (under supervision from your doctor, of course) is often the right move, pun intended. 

Where NS comes in

During the program, you’ll learn simple ways to incorporate more physical activity into your routine. (No gym required!) We’ll also show you what types of physical activity are best for you, depending on your health goals. There’s some form of physical activity out there for everyone!

 

Here are a couple of quick tips:

Try to take a few steps every hour

It’s easy to lounge around on the couch all day, especially when practicing social distancing! To get more movement into your day, try setting an hourly reminder in your smartphone to take a lap or two around the house (or if it’s nice outside, the block)! 

Do a quick workout routine

No gym? No worries! There are plenty of short workout routines on YouTube that don’t require any equipment. Simply do a quick search for what you’re looking for—yoga, HIIT, strength training—and get movin’!

 

With everything going on, now’s the perfect time to put yourself and your immune system first. 

The great news is, by starting the Naturally Slim program today, you can. And if you’ve already begun NS, sticking with the program will help you keep protecting your immune system. 

Without a jam-packed calendar full of kid’s soccer games, dinners with friends, and errands, you can take the time you need to focus on you and your health. Plus, you can complete NS from your computer or smartphone, making it convenient to participate at home. 

So, keep your immune system strong by logging in and watching on your computer or smartphone, today!