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Health and Fitness

Simple Lifestyle Changes To Boost Your Immunity

By Shweta Kulkarni, 15 Jun, 2020
  • Simple Lifestyle Changes To Boost Your Immunity

A robust immune system ensures that you keep most illness at bay, we have outlined simple ways that will help boost your body’s defence mechanism.

 

The one word that each one of us has heard the most during this on-going global health crisis is IMMUNITY. While everyone is grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic by following protocols like social distancing, self-quarantine, maintaining certain hygiene standards, avoiding contact with infected people etc., many health experts have made claims that a strong immunity can lessen the chances of an individual getting infected by the novel coronavirus.
Although these claims are yet to be proven, the fact remains that a healthy immune system does act as a protective shield that lowers the risk of chronic illnesses and infectious diseases. And while no diet, supplements or lifestyle modifications, aside from physical distancing and practising proper hygiene, can protect one from getting COVID-19 — there is no harm in taking steps to enhance your body’s defence mechanism at this juncture as it can help fight off other potentially harmful pathogens.


And the good news is — a few simple lifestyle changes can actually help strengthen your body’s natural defence system. Here’s how to give a boost to your body’s immune superpowers.

 


Get Some Good Sleep


Yes, it is as easy as that. Getting your daily 7-8 hours of siesta is where you begin with your health journey. When it comes to a robust immune system, sleep plays an important role. The body not only heals and restores while you are asleep but also produces cytokines — a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. Insufficient sleep may decrease the production of these protective proteins and will make you more susceptible to illnesses. Studies show that getting proper sleep not only facilitates the immune system but also protects you from other health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. So, folks, it is time to cut down on your late-night Netflix binging and grab that much-needed snooze to boost your immunity system. Quick Tip: Try limiting screen time an hour before going to bed, as the light emitted from the phone, TV, and computer interferes with your body’s natural sleep cycle.

 

Stay Hydrated


Someone has rightly said – ‘there is no life without water.’ Clean and pure water can easily be termed as the world’s foremost medicine and hence it is no surprise that immunity and water are closely tied. H2O can do wonders to the body and is an excellent immune system booster. It transports nutrients and compounds in blood, keeps your body temperature in check, flushes out toxins and waste, and lubricates and cushions joints. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) has strongly recommended keeping your body hydrated, especially during this COVID-19 crisis. While water is the ideal choice, you can also add a dash of lemon juice to your water as there are several health benefits of drinking lemon water as well. Lemons are a great source of vitamin C, which again is known for its immune-boosting properties. Simultaneously one can have tea and natural fruit juices. However, it's best to avoid sweetened fruit juices and caffeine. Quick Tip: Set a reminder on your phone to notify you to drink water at regular intervals during the day.



Move Your Body


Like it or not, but exercising is one of the easiest ways to improve your body’s defence mechanism. Several studies have shown that a moderate exercise regime is beneficial for your immune system. Recent research at the University of Bath, state that, in the short term, exercise can help the immune system find and deal with pathogens, and in the long term, regular exercise slows down changes that happen to the immune system with ageing, therefore reducing the risk of infections. Other studies also suggest that exercising also eases stress, improves metabolism and lessens your chances of getting heart diseases. It is advised to exercise for 20 to 30 minutes daily, depending on your stamina and the good news is that it needn’t have to be specifically in the gym. You can even exercise at home. Brisk walking, jogging, cycling are some other physical activities you can easily opt for. It’s about time you stop being a couch potato and start moving. Quick Tip: The easiest way to start moving is walking while you are attending a phone call.

 

Consume Wisely


Lastly, a healthy balanced diet is a key to boosting your body’s immune system. Nutrition plays a huge role in your life and when you are deprived of essential nutrients you are bound to fall ill. So, eating right and wisely should top your charts if you wish to give a boost to your immune superpowers. Include a lot of nutrient-rich food and vegetables in your diet and opt for fresh food instead of processed ones. Have fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, which has a proper combination of essential vitamins, minerals, fibres and antioxidants. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the better you feed the body with the nutrients it needs, the better it functions to keep chronic and acute diseases at bay. One more important thing is to avoid excess sugar, salt and oil in your diet. When you are focussing on boosting immunity, it best to also avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and nicotine as it hinders with immune functions. Quick Tip: While the internet is floating with articles related to immunity-boosting foods, for the best daily nutrition advice during the COVID-19 pandemic, do visit WHO’s online portal. A detailed flyer with regards to nutrition for adults is published on the site.


Bottom Line


While these are the simplest lifestyle changes that you can adopt to boost your immune response against diseases and germs. It is imperative to note that these suggestions can’t prevent you from getting COVID-19, hence it is necessary to follow the guidelines shared by WHO and the Government.

 

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