As the Coronavirus now has been officially classified as a Pandemic with over 200K+ cases around the globe escalating by the moment. It is no wonder many of us are feeling a bit nervous on edge and finding ourselves anxiously waiting for the next bit of bad news to drop.
This can definitely feel like a slippery slope and a helpless emotional decline. If we shift gears for a moment and take a deep breath and a different path. This just might be a perfect time instead to be a little more prudent and proactive making some lifestyle changes and steps that can probably strengthen the best defense you have in this fight against Covid-19 your Immune system!
Here are 5 things you can do to help boost your Immune system the BEST defense in the race against the virus!1. Sleep like a baby – If your up watching every detail of the news trying to “stay ahead” of the virus or watching the rollercoaster stock market worried about your 401k than consider this you just might be doing a whole lot more harm than good in accomplishing your greater goal in all of this……staying healthy & alive!. In particular, these sleepless nights can be a huge blow to your immune system keeping it in a weakened state lessening its chances of putting on the best defense against this rapidly growing threat. During sleep your body releases cytokines these are proteins that are mounted in vast numbers in the body to fight disease. Lack of sleep decreases your “army” of cytokines weakening your body’s own defense against fighting pathogens, like Covid 19. Lack of sleep also is a risk factor for developing obesity, diabetes and heart disease putting your body in a further immunocompromised state. Yes, more vulnerable to succumbing to disease and illness. So how much sleep are we talking about? Adults should be getting at least 7-8 hours and kids at least 10. So please make sure the lights are out at night and your house is getting some Zzzzzz. 2. Plant-based diet– If your vegan or vegetarian and already eating a lot of fruits and vegetables that’s great! you most likely already have a good healthy lead in building a strong immune defense. If you’re not then consider this pandemic as no better time to start cleaning up your eating. Why? Because many of the foods we eat especially the easy to grab fast foods, processed foods and the variety of instant ready dishes we see lining the food isles. Have one common thread not only are they keeping you a lot less healthy but at the same time they are setting up a constant unhealthy inflammatory response in your body. Inflammation is a natural intermittent mechanism of the body that is meant to be turned on to fight and respond to injury, disease, and pathogens. That’s right calling your army of cytokines when you need them. Intermittently, rallying an immune response fighting disease and then shutting off for restoration. Instead, of shutting off for restorative purposes poor “high inflammatory” diets keep our bodies in this “turned on” Inflammatory state. Like leaving your car lights on all night and expecting your car to start in the morning. When you’re feeding your body a high inflammatory diet your essentially leaving “your lights on” weakening and depleting your immune defenses. So if you’re headed to the store standing in those long lines please do your immune system a favor make sure your basket is full of plenty of Anti- Inflammatory Foods you can’t afford to short your army of immune defenses at a time like this. 3. Exercise – Let’s keep this short and sweet there is plenty of evidence supporting that Regular Excercise helps to maintain a healthy immune system. If your not one that has a regular exercise regimen already in place then I can’t think of a better time to get one going. Here are a few suggestions to get you over some of those objections that always seem to get in the way of getting started “ I haven’t got the time. The good news is if you can manage to squeeze out just 7 minutes from your busy day then grab your phone and download one of these 7-minute workouts, remember its a start. With all this talk about Social Distancing as one of our best defenses against Covid-19, you might very well be concerned about cycling next to your fellow gym mate. Now might be a good time to take advantage of some nature’s wide-open spaces in your area like parks, hiking trails as a way to keep a safe 6 ft distance while getting that needed exercise. 4. Hydration – If you found yourself in the long lines pulling the last few cases of water off the shelf than consider that an effort not in vain. Hydration, that is with good water intake has an abundance of health benefits. Flushing out toxins, increasing our lymph fluid to help clear bacteria and toxins. So now, is the time to drink plenty of water from sipping on those herbal immune-boosting teas to keeping a jug nearby maybe even tracking your daily cups with an app all great ways to make sure you’re getting enough H2O to help boost that immune response. 5. Hand washing – We know this virus is living for days on surfaces. We know the virus can be spread by touching a surface and then transferring the virus and infecting us by touching our face, nose, mouth, and eyes. If you consider the average person touches their face at least 2000 times a day it’s not hard to see how poor and inadequate handwashing less than 20 seconds with soap and water puts you and your Immune system at risk for contracting pathogens often in larger quantities than would have been the case had you washed your hands for 20 seconds. So just do it! pick your favorite 20-second tune failing to take these critical 20 seconds will probably most certainly only further compromise your defenses.
Stay safe and keep your Immune system healthy!