Many people have been asking, other than washing their hands, not touching their face with unwashed hands and avoiding contact with those who are ill, what else can they do to help protect themselves from COVID-19 Coronavirus.
COVID-19 is what’s known as a ‘novel’ or ‘new’ virus, which means that no one has ever been exposed to it before and therefore there is no ‘community immunity’ to it (also known as herd immunity). Despite this, the stronger your immune system, the theory is the less impacted you will be by the virus if you get it. A stronger immune system will also help to reduce the number of colds, the severity and the length of cold, as well as other viruses and infections (which in turn will strengthen your ablity to fight it).
With that in mind, what can you do to strengthen immune system? I’ve put together 7 tips for boosting your immunity as well as help you generally feel healthier, both physically and mentally.
Please note that these are tips to generally boost your immune system as well as benefit your general physical and mental health and wellbeing and no studies have been carried out on their effectiveness of reducing the impacts of COVID-19.
- Exercise regularly
Doing regular moderate exercise (e.g. brisk walking, cycling, golf) has shown to increase resistance to upper respiratory tract infections and reduce sick days from work. If you are not comfortable going in to gyms or going to classes at the moment, make sure you find alternatives whether it be walking, cycling, running outdoors or even doing exercises within your own home.
- Practice yoga and meditation
Regular meditation and yoga can help to increase your ability to deal with stress and therefore the negative impacts of stress on the immune system. Furthermore, meditation can help to mediate some of the short-term stress response to more intense exercise mentioned above. The movements carried out during yoga postures are also thought to help flush out toxins, supporting a healthy immune system.
Try a one-minute meditation to start.
- Drink plenty of water
Along with keeping your body moving, having plenty of fluid is key for helping deal with toxins, preventing a toxic overload and taking them to where they are processed. It is also important for aiding digestion, getting key nutrients to the parts of the body where they are needed.
- Get plenty of vitamins, minerals and balanced nutrition
Malnutrition is the most common cause of immunodeficiency worldwide. Protein is essential for production of antibodies and other important substances in immune function, as well as, zinc, iron, vitamins A, C, E, and B-6, and other micronutrients. Make sure you are having a good variety of fruit and veggies a day and minimise processed food, additives and preservatives.
Turmeric (in root or powder form) is an excellent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant spice. It is particularly powerful at reducing long term low-level inflammation, which is thought to be one of the main causes of many chronic western diseases. Add it to curries, stews and even boiled potatoes. Studies have also shown that the components of garlic can decrease both the severity of colds and flus and number of colds people suffer with. Raw garlic has the greatest impact as cooking can break down the active compounds.
- Minimise alcohol and quit smoking
Smoking can lead to upper respiratory tract infections and more frequent and more severe illnesses, so quitting smoking will really help boost your immune system (although please take advice from your GP, Pharmacist or Help Me Quit on the potential impact of going cold turkey at this time). Furthermore, alcohol has also been shown to lower the initial response to viruses so cutting down what you drink can help prevent illnesses and your recovery rate.
- Exercise good sleep hygiene
When it comes to your health, sleep plays an important role. While more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skimping on it could adversely affect your immune system, leaving you susceptible to a bad cold or case of the flu.
- Try to stay positive
Positive psychological well-being has been proven to increase human body immune response. Therefore, trying to remain as positive as you can under the circumstances will help to keep you strong. I know it is difficult but try to focus on today, the here and now, and try to just allocate specific time to planning for potentials rather than letting it consume your thoughts. There is so much you can’t control so focus on what you can and then go about doing the things are good for your mental and physical wellbeing (as above but also check out 5 Ways to Wellbeing).
If you would like a 1:1 consultation to talk about some lifestyle changes you could make to support your health and wellbeing then please give me a text/call/whats app on 07876 754645, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form.
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