Coronavirus has wreaked havoc on our lifestyles, the economy, and our stress levels. While a lot of our stress can be coming from being cramped up at home or the stock market tanking it really boils down to us “not having control”. We thrive in an environment wherewe dictate our own social plans, how we get around, and we just don’t have that right now.
The virus is tricky as can be picked up so easily; it can last on surfaces for days, it can be dormant in our system for up to two weeks without us knowing, not to mention, it can be contracted through air particles.While this is a worldwide pandemic that we can’t seem to slow down, we do have to look at what we can control in this case. We can control our sleeping habits, we can control our thought process, we can still exercise, we can still talk to our friends -thanks technology-, and though it’s a pain to go to the grocery store; we can still control what we eat. At the end of the day all of these things can helpus manage our immune system. While the thought of contracting Coronavirus is scary, we have to ensure we are as prepared as possible if we do happen to catch it. It’s time to boost your immune system so you can limit the potential effects of the virus. See below for ways we can boost our immune system.
**If you don’t read any further please take this home with you: 80% of our immune system lives in our gut. So the foods we decide to eat will have a major impact on the integrity of our immune system****
Ways to improve our immune system:
Diet – As mentioned above the quality of our digestive system will dictate how well our immune system can function. Our digestive tract contains “immune cells” that are activated by gut flora (good bacteria), these cells attack pathogens coming into the tract from the food we eat and ultimately stop the pathogens from entering our bloodstream. Gut flora flourishes when we eat vegetables and fruits as well as foods that have active cultures such as yogurt, kimchi, and Kombucha. The flora can become overwhelmed when we consume fried foods, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods.
Sleep – Getting a great night of sleep is helpful for a number reasons, but mainly from the production of hormones that increase our growth, energy levels, tissue repair, regulate our appetite, and regulate our blood sugar. Sleep also helps our body produce T- Cells. T- Cells are designed to fight cells that have been infected with a virus or pathogen. Two of the hormones that effect our energy levels, Adrenaline and Noradrenaline, are low during sleep. This comes into play as the lower these hormones the “stickier” the T-Cells are in order to attach to the infected cell.
Exercise – Vigorous exercise elevates our body temperature which leads us to sweat out toxins and can prevent bacteria growing in the body. As we know, exercises increases our blood circulation, which will increase the flow of white blood cells (antibodies) that fight pathogens.
Increase of Vitamin D, C, and Zinc –
– Vitamin D increases the effectiveness and response rate of white blood cells How can you get it? SUNLIGHT!!!. Food sources include salmon, tuna, egg yolks, cheese, and whole milk.
– Vitamin C helps T cells and Phagocytes; immune cells that engulf bacteria, do their job. How can you get it? Food sources such as oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, strawberries, and broccoli.
– Zinc fires up T- Cell activity and helps modulate the immune system so it doesn’t spiral out of control. How can you get it? Food sources such as red meat and poultry, salmon, eggs, nuts, seeds, and – believe it or not – dark chocolate.
Using supplements to boost vitamin D, C and zinc levels is fine as well, just make sure you take them with a “fatty” meal, like eggs or fish, to increase absorption.
Mindset – Stress does not help our immune system at all! High stress levels lead to a high production of Corticosteroid, which in turn, lower the amount of: B cells – produce anti-bodies and T- Cells, as mentioned before, that fight infected cells. Stress is certainly a major topic right now as the world has been affected by COVID-19. Ways to combat your stress: Breathing exercises, meditation, physical exercise, and sleep.
REP’s First Speed and Agility Clinic!
Last Month’s speed and agility clinic was an absolute blast! REP hosted 16 athletes who were tested in their vertical leap, agility, and linear speed. Each Athlete received a report card with their original scores, then received coaching in sprint mechanics, hip strengthening, and ground force training. The final part of the clinic was getting re-tested in each category to see if their scores improved. Each athlete improved in at least 2 categories!!!
REP wants to thank AJ Burton and Tom O’Neill for bring their expertise in performance training to this clinic. We will offer this clinic again in the Spring, stay tuned!
TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR
The heart of who we are, as individuals, is based on our personality, beliefs, temperament, and spirituality. Those traits bring out our ability to articulate our feelings and express our emotion to family, friends, and co-workers. These components are harbored and molded by our brain.
“Brain Aging” refers to the “wear and tear” and speed of your brain. We are born with 100 billion neurons (cells) in our brain. Neurons provide vital connections via synapses (electrical bridges) to keep information running smoothly. As we go through life we lose and rebuild these neurons, but as we get to the age of 40 the brain cannot keep up the re-building process and begins to decline.
Our habits and lifestyle can affect the age our brain. Brain Aging is caused by weakened Cerebral pathways and/or damaged neural material (think scar tissue) that destroy synapses. Both of these eventually slow down the transfer of information in the brain. This can lead to disorders such as Dementia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. What makes us so resilient as humans is the fact that we can keep this decline at bay if we take pride in our brain.
The largest “mass” of the brain that is divided into four lobes. These lobes are responsible for processing and responding to different types of sensory information.
A series of neurons (cells) that connect to send to a signal from one part of the brain to the other. Think of the electrical wiring in your home.
A series of neurons (cells) that connect to send to a signal from the brain to the spinal cord. This will allow us to complete and adjust physical movements. Think of an outlet, a plug, and a lamp. The electricity will move from the outlet, through the plug, to allow the lamp to turn on.
Area involved in long term memory and language processing B. Parietal Lobe: known as our “thought factory”, determines brain “speed” and “age” C. Frontal Lobe: involved in decision making, judgment, and emotions.
Organ that moves blood throughout the body’s circulatory system.
It all starts with understanding if you could be at high risk for early brain aging. Health issues such as cardiovascular disease, untreated depression or ADD, excess intake of alcohol, traumatic brain injury, and diabetes greatly increase your risk of early brain aging.
Next, you understand what foods can support a healthy brain.
- Omega 3’s, garlic, ginger, rosemary, berries, green tea, pomegranate are important to Brain health as they decrease inflammation. The less inflammation in the body, the better the blood flow to the brain.
- Oregano, cloves, thyme, berries, artichoke, and cocoa can fight off Free Radicals. Free radicals are toxins that can destroy the power source to cells, Mitochondria, essentially leading to cell death. The antioxidants in these foods will inhibit the free radicals before they can enforce any damage to cells.
Keeping a healthy blood sugar level is paramount to healthy gut and brain function. As sugar enters the body, your pancreas fires up insulin to transport the glucose (sugar) to your cells for energy. If the demand for insulin becomes extremely high the cell becomes resistant to insulin, the insulin builds up outside of the cell, like scar tissue, hindering the current of electricity (cell communication).
We know exercise burns calories and releases endorphins (happy hormones!), but it also helps strengthen our brain. When we do physical exercise our Cerebro-spinal pathway fires in order to coordinate and adjust our movements in order to complete the task. The more coordination you can challenge yourself with; ping pong, darts, or basketball, the more “strength” you can build in the brain. Exercise also protects the brain against free radicals, improves brain metabolism of cholesterol, improves oxygen levels to brain, and increases tone in blood vessels in the brain (this is vital to long term blood flow).
Lastly, find a hobby or an activity that you can fall in love with. This will give your brain the opportunity to shift away from the stresses and pressures we all face in life. Today’s world is fast and tough. Do something for yourself like hiking, joining a book club, or volunteering at a pet shelter where you can be in your element and meet like-minded people.
Taking pride in your brain can put anyone on the path to a long, happy life. It will give you the opportunity to embark on exciting journeys, a fulfilling career, and build strong personal relationships.