The most prominent features of a healthy lifestyle include sunlight and exercise are far easier to maintain when it’s possible to go outdoors. Sometimes extenuating circumstances make it challenging to achieve this, which can make it feel like your goals and plans are put on hold. If you’re following our series on simple at-home workouts, you’re halfway there. Staying fit while inside is a feat, but totally possible. In addition to making sure you keep your body moving, it’s essential that you take the right supplements when you’re stuck inside.
When you can’t get outside, the most critical nutrient you’re missing is Vitamin D. Sometimes called the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’, vitamin D is integral to maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and muscles. The challenge with our need for vitamin D is that we can’t produce it ourselves, and the only way we can absorb it is directly from sunlight on the skin or from dietary intake.
Why Is Vitamin D so Important for Our Overall Health?
Vitamin D is both a vitamin and a hormone. It helps maintain a healthy immune system and protects your body against diseases. Vitamin D also helps with calcium absorption and keeps bones healthy. Long-term deficiencies of the Sunshine Vitamin include autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as well as infections, and some potential for heart disease. Vitamin D can also help protect against respiratory infections, which is very important during the cold and flu season.
Even if the sun is shining outside, windows in your flat absorb and block UVB rays so the sun you’re getting on your skin won’t lead to the formation of active Vitamin D. If your diet isn’t full of vitamin-D rich foods, you might be walking a dangerous road toward deficiency. The primary foods that contain large amounts of vitamin D include foods that are high in fat and egg yolks. But these food groups might not be accessible, or part of your eating plan. So the next best thing is to take a quality vitamin D supplement for times when you can’t get outside, preferably vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol).
Zinc, B Complex, and Vitamin C
Once you’ve sorted your vitamin D needs, you might consider adding other supplements to help keep your immune system strong and on the ready to handle a cold or flu.
Zinc is an excellent supplement to help boost immunity. It also has been shown to resolve cold and flu symptoms quickly, so it’s a great supplement to have on hand. Some research indicates that zinc can produce and activate T-cells, which helps your body fight off infection. The key with zinc is to start taking it as soon as you feel that tell-take back of the throat tickle, or if you think you’ve come in contact with anyone who might be sick. Be careful with the amount you take. Taking too much zinc can harm your immune system.
B-complex also helps ensure your body is running at tip-top shape. It’s easy to get enough B6 from your diet and fortified foods, but if you’re starting to feel a little run down, adding in some extra can’t hurt.
The same goes for vitamin C. Vitamin C is an antioxidant, so it helps to reduce inflammation – specifically, the kind of inflammation caused by a cold or flu. It’s a great vitamin to take at any time when you feel you’re at a higher risk of getting sick. Oxidative stress can have disastrous effects on your immune system, so it’s essential to eat a diet rich in vitamin C.
Lately, there have been a number of people claiming that elderberry is in everything; it’s been used for centuries to help fight cold and cases of flu. There’s evidence that it might be linked to reduced swelling in mucus membranes, so it could be a good choice to take any time you start to feel a little under the weather. New research shows that elderberry extra has the potential to fight against the pathogens that are directly responsible for upper respiratory tract infections. It also helps to enhance the immune system, which makes it a great supplement to add into your rotation any time colds and flu are going around.
There have been claims that garlic extract has antiviral properties, so it might help with the severity of cold and flu symptoms. If you’re already starting to feel a little sick, you might consider making a garlic-laden meal or taking a supplement tablet. Garlic may also shorten the duration of your cold, making it an excellent choice for cold and flu season.
Remember that no one supplement will completely prevent you from getting sick. A combination of these supplements, coupled with an active, healthy lifestyle, might help you stay healthy.
Remember that your immune system consists of a sophisticated collection of cells and processes that help protect your body from invading pathogens. That’s why it’s so important to maintain a healthy immune system year-round by preventing infection and disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices, which means staying active, making smart eating choices, and getting enough sleep, all play a part in keeping a robust immune system.
Also, if you are still managing to train at home then you may still benefit from taking a good whey protein.