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  • Viv Gallagher

Movement, Nutrition & Lifestyle tips for Immune Health…


  • Movement for Immune Health: The benefits of regular movement for our immune systems are many! Muscle contraction from exercise gets our blood pumping, delivering more oxygen to our lungs (crucial in Covid times) in turn this increases our leukocytes (white blood cells) and circulating immune cells. This results in more immune cells in more locations to fight viruses and bacteria. The increase in your immune cells during activity can last up to 3 hours post workout so extra time for the immune cells to do their job. Daily movement is key then for giving us more lasting protection!


  • Amount and Intensity of Movement: Getting the right balance is crucial as both too little and too much exercise can affect our immune system. Prolonged high intensity exercise can actually suppress your immune system if you are overtraining. Regular aerobic exercise (50-85% target HR range) for a period of 30-50 minutes is great along with moderate amounts of strength training and a small amount of higher intensity. Aim to walk or jog 3-5 days a week varying your length, terrain and intensity. Try combining 1-2 barre classes a week for a mixture of cardio, tone and improved posture + 1-2 Pilates Reformer sessions for strength or a TRX class. Add in a Stretch and Restore class either in studio or via our video on demand for the perfect balance. Remember to have a rest day too! If you need help with a programme design then book a private session to make sure you are getting the balance right for your body! Contact us at info@studiothree.co.nz


  • Movement for Mental Health: We can all relate to how good we feel when we have moved our bodies due to increases in endorphins and serotonin levels helping us with mood and sleep. Being part of a class also gives us a sense of connectivity and a feeling of belonging, it can help us manage our stress levels as physical activity also absorbs stress. In women’s healthy ageing research connectivity is proven to be one of the pillars of our health. When we are under chronic stress and low mood our stress hormone cortisol remains high which puts our immune function at higher risk and disrupts our precious sleep hormones. Sleep is when we repair and recover so if we are not sleeping then we are not healing, leaving our immune systems even more at risk.


  • Nutrition for Immune Health: 95% of our feel-good hormone serotonin is produced in our gut so eating optimally especially in Winter should be our focus for mood and immunity. Check your Vitamin C & D along with iron, zinc and selenium. Include plenty of citrus fruits for Vit C, I kick start my day with the juice of a lemon, grated ginger and topped up with warm water. 3 Brazil nuts a day will give you your selenium and eat a wide range of dark green and coloured vegetables, include foods that are rich in both haem and non-haem iron along with legumes and foods rich in anti-oxidants such as berries and the humble tomato which is high in lycopene a natural anti-oxidant. Learn about the merits of the Mediterranean pattern of eating as Research supports it being the healthiest diet (especially for women midlife) due to its anti-inflammatory benefits that support immune health.


  • Lifestyle Solutions: If you are female age 40+ and you need some help to get your midlife health and movement on track we have the Movement, Menopause & Lifestyle solutions to help you with our 12 week guided RESET programme or private sessions. As an experienced Pilates, PT and health practitioner in Menopause I am here to help you. Register your interest here or email viv@studiothree.co,nz and I will be in touch.


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