So, what can you do to protect yourself against the new coronavirus and other germs? Here are some natural, healthy tips that can help you boost your immune system!
Practice good hygiene. Nothing beats or kills most bacteria and viruses with simple 20 seconds of washing your hands with soap. Being and keeping a clean appearance can help prevent the spread of diseases, especially when skin contact is very common. The CDC has published additional guidelines on how to prevent exposure to and spread of the new coronavirus which you can click here.
Get enough sleep. Prolonged lack of healthy sleep (less than 7 hours) can be stressful to the body, increasing in the production of the stress hormone called cortisol. With long term, amplified levels of cortisol, the human body’s immune system becomes compromised. Recent research supports that healthy amounts of sleep (7 to 9 hours) activate important functions of the immune response, occuring during different stages of sleep and being regulated by the circadian systems.
Manage your stress. Physical and mental stress can suppress the immune system. Similar to how lack of sleep can affect a person’s immune system due to the excessive release of cortisol in the body, stress can also have the same negative effect. To better manage your stress levels, there are several options such as being physically active, starting and enjoying a new hobby, meditation and breathing properly (please click here to learn more about diaphragm breathing), getting acupuncture treatment, etc…Remember, a Happier You is a Healthier You! (Click here on how acupuncture can help reduce your stress)
Eat plenty healthy foods such as fresh produce, proteins, probiotics, omega oils. These important nutrients commonly found in our foods are essential to boosting the immune system. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the better you feed your body with the nutrients, the better it functions and can avoid chronic and acute diseases. Conversely, eating foods high in sugar and fats (yes even alcohol), can be detrimental to your immune system. A simple way to look at this is that most of the immune system cells are developed within the abdomen or the ‘gut’. A ‘healthy gut’ equates to a healthy body, where elimination of harmful foreign elements is very much needed.
Stay physically active. According to the Cleveland Clinic, it is any physical activity that ‘gets your heart rate up to 50 to 60 percent higher than its rate when you are at rest.’ Some of these activities include:
Walking two miles in 30 minutes.
Biking five miles in 30 minutes.
Swimming laps for 20 minutes.
Running one and a half miles in 15 minutes.
Doing water aerobics for 30 minutes.
Playing volleyball for 45 minutes.
Playing pick-up basketball for 20 minutes.
Jumping rope for 15 minutes.
Walking stairs for 15 minutes.
Washing your car for 45 minutes to an hour.
Gardening for 30 to 45 minutes.
Raking leaves for 30 minutes.
Dancing for 30 minutes.
Keep in mind these activities should be done at the person’s own pace. In a study published in April 2018’s Aging Cell, there is evidence that older adults who exercise regularly can keep their immune systems functioning similar to people who are decades younger. One thing to keep in mind is that high intensity or extreme exercising can be detrimental to the immune system because it can be too stressful for the body.
Get some Sun. With spring and summer soon approaching, the warmer weather brings out more sunshine! Sunlight stimulates the body to produces vitamin D which helps boost your immune system. According to 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A. It also showed that a low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection.
Fast Relief Acupuncture is dedicated to guiding you through these challenging times. We pride ourselves in introducing, educating, and offering a safe and natural way to help improve your body’s overall function. We look forward to getting you on the road to complete recovery!
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