The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is still rising globally. The Department of Health reported on Monday that 82 new cases were added to the tally of new cases (so far the Philippines’ highest in a single day), bringing the total numbers to 462 with 8 deaths and 18 recovered. Given this, we need to work doubly hard in keeping ourselves safe and healthy. Below are tips on how to boost our immune system to help fight Coronavirus.
In an article by dietdoctor.com, it reiterates that it’s possible that one may be infected with COVID-19 but still be asymptomatic. So maintaining top hygiene and social distancing are essential to avoid spreading it to high-risk individuals. The website also highlights the following as the basics in improving health and strengthening the body’s immunity:
- Wash hands properly and thoroughly: The coronavirus is killed by proper handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap or using hand sanitizer that is greater than 60% alcohol.
- No Smoking: Smokers are more likely to catch infections and suffering severe complications in the lungs.
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep: Sleep is important for health in general, and as a bonus it may also benefit our immune function. Studies show that those who slept less than seven hours were three times more likely to develop symptoms than those who slept more than eight hours. The science in this area may not be extensive, but when it comes to overall health, proper sleep helps. Lessen screen time and focus on non-gadget related activities in the evening such as reading a book, puzzles, knitting, and the like. If gadgets are unavoidable, invest in blue-light blocking glasses.
- Exercise: People who exercise tend to suffer fewer infections than those who do not. Get off that couch and stay active. You do not have to spring into high-intensity exercise routines. There are many cardio exercises on YouTube including ones that you can do with your own body weight in your own home.
- Stress management: Too much worrying can raise cortisol levels, which may negatively impact our immune function. It can potentially increase blood pressure, blood sugar, and make your day more unpleasant. The future may seem uncertain but we can all take measures to control our response to stress. Meditation, mindfulness exercises, and getting some sun while maintaining at least 6 feet from people are all examples.
- Drink in moderation: If drinking is your way to cope to these tough times, make sure you drink moderately. The website stresses that “studies show a relationship between chronic heavy alcohol consumption and increased susceptibility to infections. Perhaps most pertinent for the discussion about COVID-19, some of these studies showed an increased risk among heavy drinkers of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), the lung complication responsible for most of the COVID-19 related deaths.”
The above tips are important aspects of staying healthy and may be crucial during times of increased risk, like the COVID-19 pandemic.