Ever since the pandemic has emerged, many people all over the globe have been staying within the walls of their homes more often. In our case, community quarantines and lockdown orders are being implemented by both the national and the city government to prevent further spread of the virus, thus keeping us within our residences.
During this period of confinement, the more it is important to keep ourselves and our family safe and healthy. One way to do so is by following general good-health guidelines to keep your immune system strong and healthy.
Our Immune System
Our immune system protects us from infectious viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even parasites that cause diseases and worse, death. It is a complex network of cells and molecules that researchers are still working to understand.
Thus, much is still not known about the immune response. According to Harvard, there are no scientifically proven direct links yet between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
However, in the meantime, general healthy-living strategies can be a way “to start giving our immune system the upper hand.”
How You Improve Your Immune System
Here are some of the healthy-living strategies, as provided by the Harvard Medical School, the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect our body, including your immune system, from environmental assaults.
1. Take Steps to Avoid Infection
One of the most known steps to avoid infection is washing your hands. According to the CDC, we have to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially after you have been in public places or have either blown your nose, coughed, or sneezed. Other than soap and water, alcohol-based hand rubs may also be used for cleaning your hand, as advised by WHO.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Having a healthy diet is important during the pandemic. Although there are no foods or supplements that can prevent or cure COVID-19, WHO said that healthy diets are important for supporting immune systems.
What more is that a healthy diet can also reduce the likelihood of developing other health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
You may start by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking enough water, limiting your salt and sugar intake, and consuming moderate amounts of fats and oils.
3. Quit Smoking
Why should you quit smoking? “Quitting smoking completely is the best option for long-term health, ” stated Harvard. As simple as that.
Also, since we are in a pandemic and since those who smoke are constantly putting their hands to their lips, it makes them have a higher risk of getting coronavirus. And if smokers get a virus, they may have a greater risk of getting a severe case.
Wondering how can you curb your cravings? Here are some of the ways provided by WHO:
- Delay as long as you can
- Take 10 deep breaths to relax until the urge passes
- Drinking water is a healthy alternative to sticking a cigarette in your mouth
- Do something else to distract yourself
4. Exercise Regularly
It is important for people to be as active as possible even at times like this. WHO encourages everyone to take a break from sitting by doing 3-4 minutes of light intensity physical movement which may be in the form of walking or stretching.
Physical movement as such will help ease your muscles and improve blood circulation. If you want to be even more active, WHO suggests you to try online exercise classes, dance to music, play active video games, and the like.
Here are some other benefits of engaging with regular physical activity as provided by WHO:
- It benefits both the body and mind
- Improves bone and muscle strength
- It can reduce high blood pressure
- Increases balance, flexibility, and fitness
- It helps manage weight
5. Get Adequate Sleep
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, most adults need seven (7) to eight (8) hours of good quality sleep each night, while teens and school-aged children need eight (8) to ten (10) and nine (9) to twelve (12) hours respectively.
But how can enough sleep be beneficial to your health? Getting enough sleep can help you:
- Lessen your chances of getting sick
- Stay at a healthy weight
- Lower your risk for serious health problems
- Reduce stress
- Think more clearly
- Get along better with people
- Make good decisions
6. Minimize Stress
One of the many ways to minimize stress is to make time to unwind and try to do activities that you enjoy. For instance, if you are into planting or would like to get into planting, then gardening might just be a good activity for you to try.
For More News and Updates
Those are just some of the ways to your immune system strong and healthy. May you find this list helpful and may you and your family stay safe and healthy for years to come.
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Source: Harvard Health Publishing| Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion| U.S. Department of Health and Human Services