#3 Water Is Your Long-Lost Best Friend!
Just in case you were wondering, I grabbed a cup of water before writing this section! Water. So vital for health and survival but so easy to forget. Without it we can only survive for a matter of days. Water makes up approximately 60% of an adult’s body weight and this is a higher percentage in children. Water has a lot of roles in the body including transporting nutrients and wastes in the body, aiding in body temperature regulation, maintaining blood volume and is a solvent for minerals, vitamins, amino acids, glucose and other small molecules to allow them to take part in metabolic activities to name a few. So, if we don’t have enough water in our bodies, we can’t distribute our nutrients, remove wastes like toxins from the body or have optimal metabolic function. And this could have a flow on effect to the immune system. So, let’s drink plenty of clean, filtered water (aim for 2-2.5L per day at least) so our bodies don’t have to work any harder than they already do.
#4 Get Moving
Moderate exercise is an easy and great way to improve immune function. So not only do you get a nice hit of hormones like endorphins, dopamine and serotonin that make you feel a million dollars, you also give your immune system a nice hug. The study referenced below notes that moderate and vigorous intensity aerobic exercise of less than 60 minutes promotes the antipathogen activity of macrophages (immune cells) and enhances the recirculation of a whole bunch of immune cells (I won’t bore you with all of their names) that play very important roles in immune defence and metabolic health. Therefore, with all this new-found knowledge, why not schedule in some walking, light jogging, yoga, pilates, cycling or swimming – whatever you can see yourself doing and schedule it into your week. And it’s important to schedule it in at the beginning of the week to keep yourself accountable!
Part 3 coming soon!
Heijnen, S., Hommel, B., Kibele, A., & Colzato, L. S. (2016). Neuromodulation of aerobic exercise – A review. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01890
Nieman, D. C., & Wentz, L. M. (2019). The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 8(3), 201–217. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2018.09.009
Whitney, E. N. (2013). Understanding nutrition: Australia and New Zealand (2nd ed.). South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited.