With COVID-19 cases on the rise and flu season just about to peak, it’s more important than ever before to keep your immune system functioning at its best. In this post, we’ll discuss a few easy-to-implement tips you can use to keep you and your family’s immune systems strong.
The Art Farm NYC is dedicated to helping you and your family stay well, and part of staying well this winter involves staying connected and engaged. We understand that this has been an extremely difficult year for so many in our community, and we want to do everything we can to help. We’re currently offering both in-person and virtual classes for kids that are fun, engaging, and educational! We’ll provide more information below, but you can also visit our class page to learn more.
Six Tips for a Strong Immune System
Make Sleep a Priority
A good night’s sleep is one of the best gifts you can give your body, no matter what time of year it is. The connection between sleep and immune function has been the object of study for decades and, while researchers are still learning about how sleep deprivation plays a role in compromised immune function, sleeping fewer than six hours each night has been associated with a higher likelihood of illness.
To ensure that you’re getting enough sleep each night, make sure that you’ve either turned off your screens two hours before bed or are using a blue light blocker. You should also find a relaxing evening routine that helps you de-stress and unwind before bedtime. (See tip five below for more information!)
Cook Meals at Home
Cooking meals at home is one of the best ways to save money and improve your health. Although many restaurants in NYC are known for using healthy ingredients, the majority of takeout food is made using sugar, low-quality oil, and other ingredients that can make it harder for your body to stay healthy.
Making your own meals isn’t just good for you, though. It can also be the perfect way to get the whole family together for a collaborative meal! Take turns choosing recipes that get everyone excited about participating and help everyone learn something new.
If your child is interested in learning more about cooking healthy foods, be sure to learn more about the Farm Foodies class through The Art Farm NYC! This is one of our most popular classes for kids and it teaches children about the importance of cooking with fresh ingredients. Your child will also learn age-appropriate cooking techniques while expanding their palate!
Exercise is a lot like sleep — it’s important to make it a priority in order for your immune system to function properly. However, most people across the country have had their schedules upended by the pandemic. Gyms are closed or operating at a limited capacity and in locations such as New York, it will soon be too cold for some to venture outdoors for exercise. Many apartments and homes in NYC aren’t suited for home gyms, but that doesn’t mean that you and your family can’t find ways to exercise. Stationary bikes can provide you with a great workout for a relatively low cost, and there are also countless free workout videos that require only an open living room to complete.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
Hydration won’t protect your body from germs, but drinking plenty of water throughout the day is an important aspect of keeping your body healthy. If your entire household is working remotely, try checking in once each hour to ensure that everyone is taking a break from their screens and staying hydrated.
Find Ways to De-Stress
Chronic stress has been associated with inflammation and can suppress the immune system. It can also increase cravings for sugar, keep you awake at night, and have other effects on your lifestyle that harm your health in turn.
This has been an extremely stressful year for most, but finding ways to relax and decompress is essential. Activities such as reading to your child, meditating, yoga, walking, writing in a journal, and soaking in the tub can all help you wash away the stress of a long day.
Connect With Friends and Family
Loneliness is now being studied as a form of stress and, while more research needs to be performed on the direct connection between loneliness and the immune system, researchers have found links between loneliness and other health conditions.
Many of us haven’t seen our friends and family in a number of months. As the weather gets colder and it’s more difficult to see our loved ones safely, it’s important to find ways to stay connected with our friends and family. Whether it’s a weekly phone call or the occasional video chat that we’ve all become so fond of, keeping your connections strong will help you and your entire family stay resilient.
Your child likely misses their friends and family, too. We know how hard these last few months have been on children, and that’s why we’re so thrilled to be offering both in-person and remote classes for kids that offer safe socialization opportunities.
We don’t know what the next few months have in store for us, but we hope that we can be a pillar of support for you and your family as we make our way toward a brighter future.