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Top 10 Best Immune System Boosters

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“The immune system is a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.  Quite a number of researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, herbal supplements, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. Although interesting results are emerging, thus far they can only be considered preliminary (Harvard Health Publishing).”

During our world pandemic due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) we all must take preventative cautionary steps to maintain optimal health and reduce the spread of the virus.  We have been advised to practice social distancing and stay home. But what else can we do? The next most important step is to maintain a healthy immune system.

 

Adopting healthy behaviors are your first line of defense for a strong immune system

Tip 1: Live Tobacco Free

If you already live a tobacco-free lifestyle you are doing yourself a gigantic health favor.  And if you use tobacco there are resources to help you reduce your intake and ultimately kick the habit.   Visit the Mayo Clinic’s Smoking Cessation Guide. Check out Healthline’s List of Products to help you quit.  Email us admin@bkomplete.com to learn more about our Tobacco Cessation Program.

Tip 2: Eat a Diet Rich in Nutrients

Eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in added sugar, saturated and trans saturated fat.  But, what does that mean to eat exactly?  No stress, we have you covered! Check out our Meal Prep Guide, Healthy Hydration Hacks, What are Pre and ProBiotics, What Foods to Eat in the Winter and What Foods to Eat in the SummerStill not sure?  No problem, email us at admin@bkomplete.com to schedule your nutrition and wellness consult. This is how we can help you learn more about which foods to eat.

Tip 3: Exercise Regularly

In addition to eating  more nutrient-rich foods, it is also important to get regular exercise. That equals at least 150 minutes per week of aerobic activity and at least 2 instances per week of muscle training for all major muscle groups.  But we know the biggest barrier to exercise is time. Now that many of us are working from home we have gained back the time it took for our commute to the office.  Use that extra time to add physical activity into your day. You will feel great and reduce your stress! Not sure how to exercise at home? Check out this Home Gym 101 article on body weight exercises you can do at home.  You can also visit Fitness Blender on YouTube for hundreds of free exercise routines.   

Tip 4: Maintain a Healthy Weight

 A healthy body weight does NOT mean the lowest body weight.  At B.Komplete we never recommend restrictive diets.  A healthy body weight philosophy means that you have accepted your body and you are practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors.  Body acceptance includes mindful eating, frequent exercise, self compassion, and healthcare prevention. One important measure rather than your weight is your waist circumference.  Elevated waist circumferences can be a predictor for heart issues. The goal for waist circumference is less than 35 inches for women and less than 40 inches for men. Another measure is your body fat percentage. While this can range significantly you can visit Healthline for more information.

Tip 5: Control Your Blood Pressure

Elevated blood pressure impacts roughly 1 in 3 Americans.  This puts us at higher risk for heart attack and stroke.  But the good news is, by following the guidance of your healthcare team you can control your blood pressure. The first defense is practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors (all of the items on this list). This should be practiced in combination with taking prescribed blood pressure medication.  If you are unsure what your blood pressure is, order a blood pressure cuff to use at home.  

Tip 6: Drink in Moderation

If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.  In times of stress alcohol may seem even more inviting.  But practicing moderation is the key for your success. For men the recommendation is no more than 2 drinks per day. And for women the recommendation is no more than 1 drink per day.  A standard drink is generally equal to 1-12 ounce beer, 5 ounces of wine and 1 – 1.5 ounces of liquor.  And watch out for drinks with a lot of added sugar and make sure that you hydrate well before, during and after intake of alcohol. 

Tip 7: Get Adequate Sleep

“Adequate” sleep generally means 7 – 9 hours per night of restful slumber for most adults.  If this sounds like a dream you may need to work on your sleep health. Because getting enough sleep does more than give you energy. It also helps to boost your immune system and benefits your metabolism.  Learn more from Healthy People

Tip 8: Take Steps to Avoid Infection and Protect Your Immune System

This means washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.  Hand washing has always been our first life of defense against infection.  And with the pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19)public health organizations are providing as much guidance as possible on the proper way to wash your handsSafe food handling has always been paramount to reduce our risk for food borne illness.  For instance, cooking meat to the proper temperature, not using the same cutting board for meat and produce, and storing food properly are just a few basic practices.  Learn more from the USDA on keeping food safe.  

Tip 9: Get Regular Healthcare Prevention Screenings

Get regular healthcare prevention screenings for people in your age group and risk category.  This means visiting your primary care physician at least annually and getting your blood measured. This also means getting your preventative dental exams, cancer screenings, eye exams and meeting with your  B.Komplete Registered Dietitian for your preventative wellness visits.  Learn more about the frequency of various healthcare prevention exams from the Cleveland Clinic

Virtual Counseling

Tip 10: Manage Your Stress

We are facing great uncertainty, illness, and economic challenges with the coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, stress is higher than everSome of our go-to tips for managing stress include breath exercises, practicing meditation and mindfulness, engaging in physical activity, laughing, and practicing gratitude.  Learn more about some of our go-to stress reduction ideas here

If you enjoyed this post please share with your family, friends and colleagues.  Because the more we can do to support our immune system and stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), the better our world will be.  

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Eat like a Dietitian and Exercise like a Trainer

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Living a healthy lifestyle can be difficult for all of us . Even for someone like a registered dietitian or personal trainer. But when you choose to take the steps to overcome barriers, you’ll be surprised to find out how rewarding living healthfully can be. Today we will be introducing you to just a few of the health and wellness professionals on the B.Komplete team.  You will learn how they have succeeded in overcoming their personal barriers and living a healthy lifestyle.

Meet Art, Registered Dietitian

Art is a Registered Dietitian and Life Coach on the B.Komplete Team.  Art has a unique background in social work that allows him to make long lasting relationships with those he counsels. While he loves what he does, his favorite job is being a father to his two daughters. 

He is motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle in order to live up to his own expectations of being able to keep up with his 4-year old now and as she grows up.  While his life can be very busy, and health has to be a conscious decision, Art finds easy ways to make it fit.  

Art finds ways to intertwine nutrition with family time. This is made simple at dinner with house favorites like taco night. Art’s family’s taco night incorporates healthier ingredients. These are ingredients like lean ground turkey, an abundance of vegetables and low-fat cheese to make them more nutritious without missing out on flavor. Educating his family through cooking is something Art really enjoys. 

Indulging and mindfulness

 Even though Art is a wellness professional, he still allows himself to indulge at times as long as he is mindful. Whether it be with a piece of chocolate for dessert or a glass of wine at dinner. He takes the time to enjoy these small treats when he craves them. This is helpful so that he doesn’t feel the need to overdo it later on.

Identifying Motivators and Habits that Work

As a health professional, Art understands the importance of tapping into his internal motivators and challenging himself to strive for better, not perfect. When he can fit in a workout, he gives it his all to make the most of his time. He goes to the grocery store when he knows it will be less busy to save time. He drinks flavored seltzer water because plain water isn’t so exciting to him. Art uses his family as his “why” and plans to grow older without aches and pains as a result of his conscious healthy lifestyle. Art wants you to ask yourself: What is your internal motivator?

Schedule a 1:1 counseling session with a Registered Dietitian.

Meet Johari, Exercise Professional

Johari is an exercise professional on the B.Komplete Team.  Johari has an extensive background in dance. It was when she became injured that her doctor told her it was time to move her career in a new direction. Johari became a wellness professional when she became a personal trainer. She still loves incorporating dance into her exercise regimen and enjoys weight training. In addition, Johari is interested in learning more about parkour and powerlifting.

 For Johari, health has been a major priority in helping her to cope with and overcome substance abuse. She sees a Registered Dietitian to learn about what foods to incorporate into her lifestyle to make her feel like her best self. Never losing her love of dance, Johari has found a way to incorporate it into her life. With her own unique routines, she dances through her kitchen to make preparing food more satisfying.

Prioritizing Health and Nutrition

Johari puts on her Prince T-shirt and “blueberry beret” to prepare one of her favorite smoothies-which you can try for yourself! This smoothie contains blueberries, almond milk, chia seeds and banana. An alternative favorite is her “Moonwalker” special made with banana, unsweetened low-fat yogurt, pineapple, mango, and honey.

While cooking is not her favorite hobby, Johari has found ways to make it a priority in her life. Her health and nutrition regimen contributes to recovery while an unhealthy lifestyle makes relapse more possible. She has found her journey as a wellness professional to be both healing and rewarding. Johari has found reward in counseling other women struggling with recovery from substance abuse. Along with meditation, prayer and artwork, listening to others through counseling has been incredibly effective for stress management.

Advice

 If Johari could give one piece of advice toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle, it would be to “become your own hero.” Don’t be afraid to seek advice and utilize a health or wellness professional for guidance. Talk to people who have worked with different populations and use their expertise to your advantage.

Meet Liz, Registered Dietitian

Liz is a Registered Dietitian on the B.Komplete team. As a wellness professional, she loves leading by example. Liz loves seeing other people take what she teaches them and make it work for their lifestyle. 

One of the techniques Liz has found most beneficial to alleviate stress has been doing a 10-minute meditation of complete silence every morning when she wakes up. This allows her to start with a clean slate before starting her day. Her meditation is typically followed by a sweat session at the gym. 

As a former fitness instructor, Liz often switches up her routine between cardio, strength training and circuit training. This keeps her muscles working hard and boosts her metabolism. Meditation and exercise are two things that are non-negotiable in the start to her day. She stays consistent by  scheduling them to be a priority.

Meal Prepping

Meal preparation not for you? Liz takes an interesting approach to planning her meals. She starts by picking 2 to 3 breakfasts, lunches and dinners for the week. Next, she makes a grocery list of all the ingredients she will need. As a fan of fresh-cooked food, Liz doesn’t make it a point to pick which meals she’ll eat when ahead of time or cook them all on one day. She picks which meal she makes based on what she’s feeling, makes double, and sets it aside. This way, she could have that meal again for lunch or dinner the next day or 2-3 days from then if desired. Extra veggies? No problem. Pre-cut or roasted vegetables are great to keep in the fridge for incorporating into future meals or snacks. For more meal prep tips visit our Meal Prep Guide for Busy People.

Liz makes health a priority in her lifestyle because she never wants her body to be what slows her down. Living healthfully allows her to not feel so guilty about her favorite guilty pleasures, ice cream and chocolate.

Advice

If Liz could give one piece of advice as a step toward living a healthier lifestyle, it would be make your life decisions based on the person that you want to be in the future, and enjoy each moment now.

Meet Natalie, Registered Dietitian

Natalie is a Registered Dietitian in the B.Komplete community. She has a very busy lifestyle, holding multiple jobs in various settings in the field. On top of that, Natalie is currently being a superwoman through maintaining her work load and living healthfully all with a baby on the way! She finds the most beneficial way for her to make health a priority is through scheduling it on her calendar. 

Natalie schedules time every night to set up her morning coffee and make her lunch and snacks for the following day. This allows her to run out the door quickly in the morning and avoid less healthy options that she may grab out or in a cafeteria had she not planned ahead.

Family and Wellness

Being pregnant, Natalie isn’t able to work out with the same intensity as she previously has, but this doesn’t stop her from finding the time to exercise. She tries her best to incorporate walking into her workday wherever possible whether it be getting up to walk to the bathroom, refilling her water bottle or saying hello to a coworker. She finds walking on her treadmill at home once a day to not only give her an opportunity to move, but time to decompress from her workday or call her friends and family. 

Taking the time to talk to your loved ones and catch up can be a great way to boost your mood while also relieving stress. Natalie has found living healthfully to be most rewarding in allowing her body to carry her through a healthy pregnancy. Living a healthy lifestyle is one controllable factor in her life that she loves to take advantage of. It leaves her feeling great, positive and more friendly. 

Advice

When your health falls behind, your life falls behind. Prioritizing your health can allow you to prioritize what matters most to you. Natalie’s biggest piece of advice is to pick one or two areas in your life that you want to focus on whether it be an activity or a relationship and schedule them! Scheduling is the key to success.

Becoming a Healthier You

So next time you’re thinking about making a change toward a healthy lifestyle, think less about how it will impact you now and more about how it can impact you in the future. Over time, these small changes can amount into a large one. Soon you won’t be able to realize a time when these habits weren’t a part of your life. Living healthfully can have a positive impact on your body, mind and overall wellbeing. It can help to prevent and reduce your risk for chronic diseases later and help you to feel better in the now. 

To learn more about our B.Komplete team and how we can help you to crush your goals, reach out to us at info@bkomplete.com

B.Educated, B.Inspired, B.Komplete