It’s no secret that COVID-19 is new to us and we’re all feeling stressed, anxious and worried. This pandemic has taken so many lives and has caused most of the countries to be locked down or be under quarantine. So, while we are staying at home, we should make sure that we are doing the best that we can to fight this pandemic at the same time, take care of ourselves.
They say that maintaining excellent hygiene and practicing social distancing is the key to avoid spreading the virus and boosting your immune system is one of the best ways to fight the virus. There are many ways to boost your immune system and here are some of the most effective ways to do self-care while you stay at home and it doesn’t cost anything!
1. Proper Handwashing – The coronavirus is killed by proper handwashing for 20 seconds with soap or using hand sanitizer that is greater than 60% alcohol. They say, when you wash your hands, you must sing two ‘Happy birthday’ verses for an exact 20 seconds hand wash. It’s science!
2. Get enough sleep – According to the National Sleep Foundation, not having enough sleep can negatively affect your immune system. To keep your immune system strong, the NSF (National Sleep Foundation) advises aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep every night. But if you’re having trouble sleeping, fill in the gaps with naps. Taking two naps that are no longer than 30 minutes each – one in the morning and one in the afternoon – can help decrease the stress and to balance out the negative effects that sleep deprivation has on the immune system.
3. Meditate – A stressful situation like what we are currently experiencing can have a negative effect on the immune system and according to Ellie Burrows Gluck, “a consistent meditation practice can help us better respond to stressful situations”. If you haven’t tried meditating, this is the perfect time to start and practice the art of meditation. A study from CNN instructed how to start meditating. First, aim for consistency when it comes to the style of meditation, the time of day and length of your practice and your surroundings. You need to choose your favorite spot, it could be on the couch, on a designated corner with a meditation cushion, in your room, or even on your workout mats. Second, bring your full attention to your breath. Sitting with uplifted posture may help and eyes may be closed or open (if open, you should be looking at only one thing.) If your mind suddenly wanders with thoughts like, “Should I cut my bangs?” come back to your breath without judgment. Gluck added that once you’ve been practicing for a while and have learned to choose between your breath and your thoughts, you can “apply that same method of your choice to your response to stressful situations”.
4. Exercise – We always say that part of taking care of ourselves is to have a proper diet and exercise. But how does exercise help in fighting this pandemic? Simply because it manages stress and strengthens our immune system. A study from NLM (National Library of Medicine) shows that those who partake in regular physical activity have a lower incidence of infection compared to inactive individuals. So what are you waiting for? Get up and active girlfriend!
Being physically active may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases that could weaken the immune system, flushes bacteria out of the lungs, decreasing your chances of getting a cold, flu or other illness. Can’t go to the gym due to lockdown? You can still be physically active at home! We recommend to-do homework-outs and here are some of the easy homework-outs you can try in just 30 minutes every day!
- (15 seconds rest in between)
- Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
- High Knees – 30 seconds
- Butt Kicks – 30 seconds
- Burpees – 30 seconds
- Squats – 30 seconds
- Reverse lunges – 30 seconds
- Plank – 30 seconds
- Dance workout (Zumba, etc) – 25 minutes
For Zumba and other dance workouts, there are lots of videos on Youtube that you can check out.
5. Eat A Nutritious Diet – One of the best ways to boost your immune system is to eat a nutritious diet. For starters, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, these have immune-boosting vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Here are some key nutrients that play a very important role in immunity and food sources of them:
- Beta Carotene
- Beta Carotene is essential for a strong immune system because it gets converted to Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to make our skin healthy, good immune system, and good eye health and vision.
- Food sources are sweet potatoes, carrots, mangoes, apricots, spinach, kale, broccoli, squash, and cantaloupe.
- Beta Carotene
- Vitamin C
- For decades, vitamin C is very famous as an immune system booster and it actually is! Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for health. It helps to form and maintain bones, skin, and blood vessels, barriers to germs and other harmful invaders.
- Food sources are oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, red and green peppers, broccoli, cooked cabbage, and cauliflower.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin D is essential for several reasons, including maintaining healthy bones and teeth, protection against a range of diseases and conditions.
- Food sources are fatty fish (including canned fish like salmon and sardines), eggs, fortified milk, and plant milk products, cheese, fortified juice, tofu, and mushrooms
- Protein is a macronutrient. Its function is to maintain the building of body tissue and muscle.
- Food sources are fish, poultry, beef, milk, yogurt, eggs, and cottage cheese, also nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils.
- Of course, stay hydrated! It regulates body temperature, keeps joints lubricated, prevents infections, delivers nutrients to cells and keeps organs functioning properly. Most importantly, being well-hydrated improves sleep, quality, cognition, and mood.
- Vitamin D
By following these effective ways and staying at home can make a huge contribution to fighting this pandemic. From all of us at Vera May, please keep safe & take care of yourself!