02 Jun 10 Steps to Boosting Immunity During Covid-19
Living through a pandemic is difficult on many levels, with plenty of us experiencing anxiety and fear as Covid-19 spreads around the globe. There is no shortage of news updates and speculation surrounding this unknown virus, but there is little guidance about ways in which we can improve our immune system.
Here at River Aesthetics, our qualified doctors have crucial advice for patients that are worried about contracting the virus. Dr Victoria Manning and Dr Charlotte Woodward have provided 10 easy-to-follow steps that will go a long way to boosting your immune system during these unprecedented times. By taking on board this advice, you can maintain a healthy lifestyle while also enhancing your ability to fight off Covid-19.
1 – Eat Less Sugar
There is no doubt that cutting down on sugar helps overall health, and in these situations you may be more likely to comfort eat. However, according to recent research in China, individuals with a high level of sugar intake are more likely to suffer worse complications from Covid-19 than others. Plus, eating too much sugary foods can lead to obesity, which affects the strength of your immune system.
2 – Load Up on Fruit and Veg
To fight illness effectively, you need to have a healthy and balanced lifestyle, which means adding plenty of fruit and vegetables to your diet. It is important during the pandemic that you get a high intake of fibre and antioxidants, as well as protein, which you get from lean meats. All of these nutrients will help build up antibodies and boost your immune system.
3 – Vitamins are Vital
We get plenty of vitamins and nutrients from food, but you can also increase your intake via supplements. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Magnesium and Zinc are crucial in enhancing calcium absorption within your body, which in turn, keeps your immune system ticking along. By upping your intake, you will be able to fight off colds and potentially prevent Covid-19 from causing detrimental damage.
4 – Get Regular Exercise
You can halve your chances of picking up a cold or contracting flu if you complete 30-45 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. During the pandemic, many of us will be spending more time at home, and with the gyms being closed, you can do plenty of workouts either in your garden or in your living room!
There are many different online routines available for you to follow to ensure you get much-needed exercise. Alternatively, going for long walks or even cleaning will provide you with enough resistance to build up muscle.
5 – Cut Out Smoking
Smoking is detrimental to overall health, but there has been evidence that smokers with Covid-19 suffer worse complications as the virus attacks the respiratory system. By cutting out smoking you will automatically improve your immune system as circulation and oxygen levels will increase, while inflammation will reduce.
6 – Learn to De-stress
We understand completely that it is difficult not to worry during times of uncertainty, but it is important that you try to avoid stress whenever possible. The hormone cortisol is released when we worry, and cases of extreme stress can have long-lasting effects on our bodies. High levels of cortisol reduces the strength of your body’s immune system, so it is essential that you take time to de-stress.
7 – Calm Your Mind
For many of us, our brains will be going at a million miles a minute due to the anxiety caused by the pandemic. In normal day-to-day life, plenty of people distract themselves from the hardships of life by going to the gym or relaxing with friends. With those options not currently possible, it is important to find different ways to relax. Online yoga classes or meditation videos could go a long way to helping alleviate stress, and there are many apps designed for self-care.
8 – Get Some Sleep
Not everyone prioritises sleep patterns, but getting 7-9 hours of sleep a night is crucial in order for our bodies to maintain a balanced immune system. Anxiety and stress can throw our sleeping habits out of whack, which can put a strain on your body. To help make the nights easier, avoid eating or drinking just before going to bed, and don’t look at any screens (TV, phone etc) an hour before bed time.
9 – Maintain a Routine
When the UK was forced into lockdown, our daily routines disappeared. With plenty of the population not working during this time, it can be difficult finding ways to fill the days. For some people, they lose all motivation while others try to cram too much into one day and feel exhausted. By creating a weekly plan, you will avoid high levels of anxiety and stress and give yourself a sense of purpose.
10 – Stay Positive
It is easy to slip into a state of panic during these times, but you only have control over yourself and your health. Sticking to the steps mentioned above will enhance the strength of your immune system, and staying positive will help too! Not many people realise that our mental health can have a direct effect on our immune system, so try to improve your attitude by focusing on all the things you can be grateful for, such as your loved ones.