The current global health crisis has driven us all of our efforts to stay healthy. As we become bombarded with COVID-19-related news every day, people are scrambling for ways to prevent contracting the virus. Meanwhile, others have been practicing social distancing, washing hands, and following health protocols almost obsessively. All these safety measures created a world of health-conscious people.
But as quarantine measures forced us to stay indoors, many of us are packing on the pounds. We cannot blame these people though, relaxing at home has become a luxury we’ve always wanted to experience. But too much of anything comes with bad consequences. Although we’re safe from virus exposure, a sedentary lifestyle leads to a poor immune system, low energy levels, and higher risks of chronic diseases.
Today, many people are jumping on the well-being bandwagon to adopt healthy lifestyle practices at home. Some healthcare companies have health coaches to design individualized care plans and help clients deal with underlying causes of health issues. But aside from these services, there are plenty of ways you can do to boost your immunity by starting certain lifestyle changes. In this article, we’re offering immunity-optimizing habits to prepare your body against COVID-19.
Maintain a regular sleep routine
We’ve heard this a lot of times, but nailing our sleep routine is the most important part of maintaining a strong immune system. Experts say that adults should get at least seven hours of sleep every night to allow the body to feel well-rested and productive the next day. Meanwhile, those who get less than six hours of sleep are likely to catch a cold when exposed to a virus and at risk of developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease.
But aside from getting the recommended number of sleep hours, sleep quality also counts in achieving healthy sleep. A sleep-deprived person has more chances of weakened immunity, which means the body’s immune defenses are weak enough to fight the invading viruses and bacteria, such as flu and the common cold. By allowing our bodies to rejuvenate, we are building our physical defenses to fight off infection.
Everything we do when we’re awake, from walking, working, exercising, and eating pushes our bodies to release inflammatory cells. This type of inflammatory response occurs to repair damaged tissues and the spread of infection. By the time we sleep, the body takes a break from performing this function to prepare itself the next day to do it all over again.
So the next time you’re planning to pull an all-nighter, just think about how you’re risking yourself to COVID-19 by foregoing a good night’s sleep.
Observe regular nourishment
A regular sleep habit won’t be complete without a balanced diet. Our stomach and immune system are symbiotically connected. To become an effective fighting force against harmful invaders, our immune system needs regular nourishment to beat infection faster. This means you need to include food that supports the immune system.
To boost immune function, reduce processed food in your diet, such as savory snacks, ready meals, and meat products. You may also eliminate alcohol, sugar, and starchy food. Replace the processed food by eating enough protein, whole or plant-based food, and a wide variety of vegetables and fruits that contain vitamin D, zinc, and other minerals.
You may also include food that contains anti-viral properties, such as olives, citrus fruits, spinach, virgin coconut oil, and leafy greens. To add spice to your meals, you may include immune-boosting herbs, such as turmeric, rosemary, and oregano.
Exercising gives our immune and metabolic systems a massive boost in plenty of ways. As we exercise, our bodies develop more antibodies and T cells, an important part of the white blood cells that play a major role in immunity by focusing on foreign particles in our bodies. It also eliminates toxins from the body, which energizes the metabolism and cells.
But pushing ourselves to work out obsessively affects our immunity. So if you’ve been exercising intensely on a consistent basis, you may want to tone it down to allow your immune system to catch up. Do this by simply going for a run or taking a walk outdoors or in your garden. You can also watch workout videos online.
Apart from the healthy lifestyle habits we mentioned above, it is important to stay consistent when following health practices to beat COVID-19. This way, it will help you become better prepared both mentally and physically for any challenge to come. But don’t push yourself too much when following these habits. Remember, your body is your best defense against a weak immune system.