Lockdown Lowdown: The Practical Steps Series. 9 Ways to Boost Your Immune System During the Pandemic

There has been a lot of conflicting news going around about COVID-19. However, the general understanding is that this respiratory illness tends to cause deaths in people with a weaker immune system or in those who have other existing illnesses.

So, it’s no wonder that millions of people have suddenly taken an interest in their health and wish to boost their body’s immune systems. The good news is that you can shore up your body’s defenses in a relatively short time if you adopt the necessary measures.

Here are 9 that will give you an edge during this pandemic.

  1. Vitamin C

We all know that this is the most commonly recommended vitamin for fighting colds and preventing a virus from establishing itself deeply in your body. Unfortunately, the body does not have the ability to store vitamin C.

So, you’ll need to consume a vitamin C supplement daily. It could be a chewable or in effervescent form that dissolves in water or in the form of some fruits such as citrus or Kiwi fruits or other foods with high Vit C. In these days you’re probably better off getting your daily dosage through a supplement as it is quicker and easier — but don’t forget about the value of fresh fruit and veg for your general health.

  1. Zinc

An often neglected mineral, zinc has a multitude of benefits. Your body cannot produce it. So, you’ll need to proactively consume it.

You can easily buy zinc supplements from a health store online or offline. Only a small amount daily is required to help promote optimal health.

Zinc will help to boost your immune system, decrease inflammation, accelerate healing and reduce the risks of age-related disease. This is especially important now because older people are more susceptible to COVID-19.

  1. Probiotics

Probiotics will improve your gut health and as a result, your immunity will get stronger. It aids in the production of antibodies and also gives some relief to respiratory illnesses. You definitely want to be consuming probiotics.

Yoghurt, miso, tempeh, kimchi and kombucha are excellent probiotics to include in your diet.Yoghurt is probably the easiest to get hold of these days so choose a natural, unflavoured one which hasnt been boosted by tons of added sugar and flavourings. Also, a bonus is that yoghurt is very easy to mske with milk, a thermos flask and a half pot of natural yogurt as a starter!

  1. Garlic oil supplements

Garlic is an immunity booster, and the allicin it contains has medicinal properties. This is one of nature’s most powerful foods and it works wonders at preventing diseases and improving general health.

You can get some from a health store and consume a capsule or two daily. While eating garlic is good, a supplement is easier and better because you’ll need to consume a lot of garlic to get the same amount of allicin that you get from a capsule.

You’re trying to ward off COVID-19, not Dracula! So, an easy to swallow capsule will do.

  1. Exercise

Self-isolation does not mean hibernation. Exercise will boost your immunity by getting your blood circulation going and improving your strength and stamina.

Even if you’re stuck at home, there are tons of home workouts that you can do to get your daily exercise. Go ahead and try home workout programmes that appeal to you as you look online. I personally love yoga and I can make that as gentle (restorative) or as challenging (ashtanga) as I wish. You’ll be amazed at how challenging some of these workouts can be.

Do note that excessive exercise can lower your immunity. So, exercise daily but don’t overdo it. With the coronavirus going around, you do not want a weaker immune system.

Exercise to break a sweat and get your heart pumping, but don’t work yourself daily to a point of exhaustion and tax your central nervous system unnecessarily. Yoga combines a stretching and toning of the whole body, can be done in a way that increased cardiac function, and relaxes you with the quiet rest and relaxation at the end so the body and nervous system is rejuvenated at every level.

  1. Sleep

Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. A well-rested body is a healthier and stronger body.

  1. Weight loss

Your health will improve when you shed your excess pounds. With all the food shortages in the supermarkets, now is as good a time as any to adopt an intermittent fasting protocol and lose weight.

Your immune system will get a boost and your health will improve tremendously as you make your way towards your ideal weight.

  1. Breaking addictions

Quit smoking. Reduce your consumption of alcohol — if the government hasnt already done it for you! here in SA the bottle stores have been closed during lockdown and the country is in re-hab!

Cut down your sugar intake and strive to give up any, or at least one of the unhealthy habits you may have developed.

It’ll be tough… but that’s to be expected. Embrace the challenge and overcome it. Go for a kind of warrior mindset! Once these detrimental habits are eliminated, you will look and feel like a brand new you.

  1. Personal hygiene

Basic hygiene such as washing your hands regularly, not touching your face when you’re outside and showering the moment you get home are all simple but crucial habits that will boost your immune system.

Remember: DO NOT sit on the couch or bed when you get home from outside. You don’t know what bacteria or viruses are on your clothes… and you don’t want them transferred on to the items or people in your house. Put your clothes for washing immediately and wear new ones after your shower.

By adopting these 9 measures, you’ll boost your body’s immunity and give yourself a fighting chance against COVID-19 or any other disease that tries to take root in your body. Stay safe and begin today.

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