Practical Ways to Strengthen Your Immune System During COVID-19
Recent news of the development of two effective COVID-19 vaccines has been a bright spot in a year that’s seemed dismal in many ways. However, unless you’re an essential worker like a health care provider, teacher or first responder, it might still be several months until you can get vaccinated against the novel coronavirus. What steps can you take to strengthen your immune system until then?
1. Take Smart Steps to Prevent the Spread of Germs
The three best ways to stay healthy in this pandemic are also some of the most straightforward things you can do to protect yourself and your family – wash your hands, wear a mask and practice social distancing. You should also disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, faucets and devices like your remote, cellphone and computer.
2. Make Time for Regular Exercise
The CDC and other health experts recommend healthy adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. While that might sound like a significant time commitment, you don’t have to do it all at once. On days when you have a crowded schedule, you can break exercise up into smaller chunks spread throughout the day. If you get creative with it, you can find ways to be more active and strengthen your immune system in the process.
3. Eat a Balanced Diet
Some foods give your immune system a natural boost. Clean, unprocessed foods such as fresh produce are excellent sources of vitamins, antioxidants and other essential nutrients.
For example, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which can shorten the duration of colds and have anti-inflammatory benefits. Fresh garlic can help prevent viral infections, and spinach has high amounts of the mineral selenium, which plays a role in fighting off infections. Consider eating more plant-based foods – going vegetarian or vegan might add years to your life.
4. Reduce Stress Daily
Though lowering stress should always be a goal, having stress-reduction strategies is especially essential during this pandemic. Because of the inextricable link between mental health and physical health, chronic stress and anxiety can take a significant toll on your immune system. Ways to lower stress levels include meditating, doing yoga, exercising and practicing controlled breathing techniques. Your immune system will thank you by keeping you healthy.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
When you sleep, your body uses the opportunity to repair and restore itself. A healthy immune system can fight off infections better than a sleep-deprived one. Adults should focus on getting between six to eight hours of restful sleep a night. Sleep in a dark, cool, tech-free room, and keep your sleep schedule consistent.
If you’re having trouble dropping off to dreamland, change your bedtime routine to include activities that help you relax and unwind, like these yoga poses. Warm baths, chamomile tea and melatonin supplements are also all-natural ways to find the calm you seek and signal your body that it’s time to sleep.
6. Stop Drinking and Drug Use
Because substance abuse also weakens your immune system and makes you more vulnerable to illnesses, you can also use this pandemic as your opportunity to get clean, sober and healthy. If you find you can’t do this alone, seek accredited addiction help at an industry-leading, nationally recognized facility like Beach House. To learn more about our amenities and proactive COVID-19 response, connect with our admissions team today.
You can make several lifestyle and dietary changes to strengthen your immune system. Though the advice here can’t prevent COVID-19, these strategies may reinforce your body’s defenses against the novel coronavirus and other harmful pathogens until you can get vaccinated and resume your typical activities.