There is so much information flying around about this treatment or that treatment for COVID and many other viruses and diseases. What we seem to overlook most often is the obvious fact that the majority of the US population is living in a state of poor metabolic health and a compromised immune system. We aren’t putting ourselves in the best position to deal with any sort of biological adversity.
It’s a sad fact that almost 50% of the US population is obese. (42.4% in 2018 w/1+% increase per year avg.).
Being obese, by definition means the body is less able to fight infection. It’s that simple.
5 things you can do to boost your immune system
The first thing I’m going to say here is there is never a 100% solution to combating any virus or disease. All we can do is put ourselves in the absolute best position to deal with it when it happens.
That being said, you need to start doing this stuff ASAP!
If you pay attention, you’re going to see some overlap in the actions you can take and the effect they’ll have on your ability to stay healthy. Keep your eyes open.
1. Increase your lean mass – Muscle plays a vital role in maintaining your body’s ability to heal and repair. Loss of muscle has been linked to a significant reduction in immune response and recovery times in viral infections, cancer treatment, etc…
Two things you can start doing right now to increase your lean mass.
- Eat more protein. It’s vital that your body has protein to keep you functioning properly.
- Start weight training.
One study linked strength to immune function more than the quantity of muscle. If you don’t train your muscles they won’t do what your body needs them to do.
2. Reduce inflammation – Chronic inflammation is the body’s response to being forced to do things it doesn’t want to for long periods of time. Short-term inflammation is actually part of the immune system’s function. It tells the body something is wrong and triggers the healing process.
Chronic inflammation occurs when something is repeatedly and consistently aggravating your body and attacking its systems. The inflammation changes from a useful function of the immune system to a source of damage and injury to the organism it’s affecting.
Think of a small cut on your arm. At first, it’s red and the skin gets a little puffy. That’s inflammation. What happens if you keep cutting yourself in the same spot every day? Will it ever heal? Will it get worse or infected. Will the inflammation spread?
The biggest source of chronic inflammation for most people is processed food. It’s not natural, your body doesn’t like it. We keep eating it, meal after meal after meal. It affects our whole body and puts everything into a state of chronic inflammation.
Every bite of food you take that comes from a box and has an ingredient label longer than the Bill of Rights is just another cut over and over again.
Make the move to whole foods ASAP. This is one of the most significant changes you can make in your life and it will let your body do its job to heal you from disease and sickness.
3. Improve mitochondrial function – Mitochondria are the engines that make everything in our body’s work. If they aren’t healthy, we aren’t healthy. Mitochondria are responsible for fueling and driving everything our bodies do…..including responding to and managing Chronic Inflammation. There are 3 things you can do to improve the health and performance of your mitochondria.
- Reduce Inflammation – I think we covered this.
- Give them better fuel – You may not want to hear this but mitochondria love to burn fat.
Have you ever heard of Oxidative Stress? You know that thing that happens when mitochondria process carbs for fuel, that creates free radicals and has been linked to cancer? Did you know that isn’t as big of an issue if your mitochondria are burning fat, health, and functioning properly?
Ditch the bread, rice, muffin, chips, pretzels, and whatever else starchy that you normally eat. 1. You don’t need them. 2. They are hurting you.
4. Support anabolic processes – The processes our bodies use to build muscle, heal, and recover are called anabolic processes. How do you give your body the time and materials it needs to maintain your health and immunity?
- Reduce Inflammation. If your body doesn’t have to keep trying to heal the same cut over and over it can focus on the important stuff.
- Start weight training. The more muscle you have the stronger your body will be. Muscle is the organ of longevity.
- Eat more protein. I can’t say this enough.
- Get more sleep. Sleep is when your body does most of its anabolic work. Testosterone and Human Growth hormone are at their highest levels during sleep. Muscle protein synthesis gets to build and repair muscle and tissue without as much interference. Sleep is very, very important.
5. Lose body fat – Here’s the crux of it all. Obesity is a symptom. The problem is deeper.
If you do all of the above, you will lose body fat, a big indicator of metabolic health. When you stop the chronic inflammation, give your body the material and time it needs to heal and function, you’ll start to see some amazing things happen.
All of which leads to one thing. You. Getting. Healthier.
Want help figuring out how to fit all this into your life?
My name is Bronson and I can help. I’ve spent years helping people improve their quality of life through fitness and nutrition. I know I can help you.
I am a Certified Personal Trainer and I do in-person or virtual fitness and nutrition coaching.
Feel free to contact me and tell me your situation. I’m all ears.
The impact of obesity on the immune response to infection
Obesity, inflammation and the immune system
The underappreciated role of muscle in health and disease
Human Body Composition and Immunity
Muscles support a strong immune system
Inflammatory responses and inflammation-associated diseases in organs
Immunity and Inflammation: From Jekyll to Hyde
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of immunity
Diverse Roles of Mitochondria in Immune Responses: Novel Insights Into Immuno-Metabolism
Mitochondria as central hub of the immune system
Targeting energy metabolism in brain cancer: review and hypothesis
Nutritional Ketosis and Mitohormesis: Potential Implications for Mitochondrial Function and Human Health