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Boost Your Immune System

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Boost Your Immune System

As we are trudging through the thick of winter weather and cold/flu/COVID season it is more important than ever to stay on top of your immune health.


Today we are going to talk about the top ways you can support your immunity with lifestyle and nutrition routines!


  1. Exercise: at the top of our list is consistency with exercise, not only has regular physical activity been shown to boost the immune system (1), but exercise for 3+ hours weekly also has been shown to help with the mental winter blues (2).


  2. Sleep: we’ve talked about sleep before and it’s appearing once again. Along with its many other benefits from recovery and mental clarity to appetite balance, sleeping adequately is also a strong component of having a healthy immune system. Sleep deprivation of <5h per night can lead to an increased chances of catching a cold or infection and could have longer recovery rates if you do come down with something than those sleeping >9h per night. (3). Finding a happy balance and shooting for 7-9 hours in bed each night can help ensure you are not only supporting your ability to stay alert and work hard in the gym, you are also boosting your immunity!


  3. Nutrition: there are many ways to support your immune system through nutrition, we are going to focus on the hard hitters so you can get the most out of your dietary tweaks.


    1. Fruits and Vegetables - shooting for at LEAST 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables per day will help you hit the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and vitamin A (beta-carotene) which will support you through this cold and flu season.


    2. Zinc - a trace mineral with powerful immune-fighting properties. Zinc can mostly be found in red meat, oysters, seeds, chicken thighs, and dark chocolate. The recommended doses daily are 8mg for women and 11mg for men. While enough zinc is vital for a strong and healthy immune system, notice when supplementing zinc in your diet if you are taking other “immune boosting” products, as daily doses over 50mg can lead to flu like symptoms! (4)


    3. Vitamin D - it’s tough enough to get adequate vitamin D through the sun and especially tougher now that less than 5% of our bodies are exposed to daylight when we go outside. While vitamin D is found in salmon, mushrooms, and eggs, it can be challenging to get the 600 IU MINIMUM recommended per day. Supplementing vitamin D (starting around 1000IUs) can not only be amazing for supporting decreased rates of infection, but also support higher energy levels and happier moods. (4)


    4. Selenium - can boost the immune system and supports speedy recovery if you do come down with a cold or viral infection. Just one Brazil nut will provide you with all the selenium you need for the day.


Hope these tips will help you all fight through this winter season!


Stay healthy,

Motivate Fitness

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