Coronavirus: 5 ways to boost your immune system
Your game plan for staying healthy.
In these times of self-isolation, stockpiling and hand-sanitising, it’s more important than ever that we look after our general health and wellbeing. Though there’s no miracle supplement or pill you can take to help ward off Coronavirus, there are a few things you can do to give your immune system a little bit of a boost.
Want to keep your body’s defences ticking over as best they can? Read on for a few pointers.
Keep an eye on your diet
Our bodies rely on vitamins and minerals to function properly, so eating a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables is key. And if they’re organic? Even better, as organic produce has a more diverse population of good bacteria.
Other good things to eat and drink are plain yoghurts and fermented drinks like kombucha and kefir, which help to support the good bacteria living in your body (which, in turn, fight off bad bacteria and viruses).
Do some exercise
About 30 to 60 minutes of low to moderate intensity exercise per day can help to improve the functioning of your immune system. Worried about germs? A walk or run outside will do wonders.
Don’t overdo it, though – as counter-intuitive as it may seem, high-intensity training can actually have a negative effect on your body’s natural defences.
Stress stops your immune system from functioning properly, so it’s a good idea to take some time out to relax every once in a while.
Calming exercises such as meditation or listening to ambient music can help to keep stress hormone levels low.
Get more sleep
Those seven to eight hours of sleep each night really are important. Why? Because during sleep, your body produces cytokines – a type of protein that targets inflammation and infection.
If you don’t get enough sleep, even just for one night, it can affect your immune system for the worse – leaving you more susceptible to colds and other viruses.
Try to get some sun
We know, this one might not seem all that achievable depending on where you are in the world – but a little goes a long way. Just five to 15 minutes of sun exposure per week is enough to help boost your immune system.
How? Sunlight helps our bodies to make vitamin D, which helps to protect against the likes of depression, heart disease, cancer, as well as other ailments.