Fall has officially arrived and winter cold and flu season is just around the corner. Suffice it to say, it’s that time of year when most people will start to get sick. This means you need to take extra care of yourself to stay as healthy as possible. There are several key steps to take, but you’ll want to include the best workout for your immune system to stay on top of your well-being.
Before we jump into this productive workout, it’s important to discuss other ways to protect your immune system. First of all, you need to maintain a healthy diet. This means choosing foods that benefit your gut health and are rich in vitamins and minerals. The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health recommends eating plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and foods high in fiber. Also, make sure you get plenty of rest and stay hydrated.
When it comes to choosing the right type of workout to do, I recommend strength training followed by cardio. This will provide you with the best of both fitness benefits and boost your immune system. Exercising regularly will strengthen your whole body. This will increase your chances of staying healthy throughout the year and help you avoid getting sick. Sounds like a plan?
Now for the #1 workout for your immune system to add to your routine. The earlier you start, the better you will be at tackling cold/flu season head-on.
For Kettlebell Deadlifts, stand in front of the kettlebell and place your feet on the outside of the weight. Bend your hips back and squat low enough to pick up the kettlebell. Make sure your shoulders are aligned with the kettlebell handle and your torso is straight. Keep your core tight and your shoulders down, and grab the kettlebell pushing through your heels and hips. Stand up straight and flex your glutes at the top of the movement. Reverse the movement to drop the weight before performing another repetition. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
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Position yourself parallel to a bench to perform your supine dumbbell rows. One hand and one knee should be firmly planted on the surface to maintain balance. Grasp a dumbbell with your opposite hand, keeping your palm facing up and your arm extended toward the floor. Make sure your chest stays high and your core is tight, then pull the dumbbell up to your hip, squeezing your lats and upper back at the very end of the movement. Straighten your arm down and stretch well down before performing the next repetition. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
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To perform dumbbell reverse lunges, hold a pair of dumbbells and take a long step back with one leg. Plant your heel firmly on the floor, then lower yourself until your back knee touches the floor. Push off with your front leg to come back up. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps on one leg before switching to the other side.
Next, it’s time for dumbbell shoulder presses. To begin, position the dumbbells up to your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Keeping your core tight and your glutes tight, and press the dumbbells skyward, flexing your shoulders and triceps at the top of the movement. Lower the weights using the control before performing another repetition. Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.
Last but not least, get ready for some cardio. Set the incline to a minimum of 3.5 to 4 degrees and the speed to 5 mph. Start running at the set speed and try to maintain this pace for 15-20 minutes. As you build up your stamina and feel comfortable with the higher incline, you can go for a longer duration.
Tim Liu, CSCS
Tim Liu, CSCS, is an online fitness and nutrition coach based in Los Angeles. Learn more about Tim
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