With the recent viral pandemic changing how most of the world functions right now, I thought it would be a good time to discuss some tips to improve your immune system. Our chiropractors have patients that ask for tips on lifestyle improvements when it comes to getting sick less frequently. Your immune system’s purpose is to identify foreign bodies (often a virus or bacteria) and to then respond to destroy the invader while allowing your body to heal and recover from the infection. While there is no way to guarantee you won’t be infected by the Corona-virus (or any other bug) there are practical tips to help your immune system.
Wash Your Hands
Just like mothers always say, WASH YOUR HANDS! You should be scrubbing with soap for a good 20 seconds each washing. Singing the “Happy Birthday” song is a good way to reach about 20 seconds. If soap isn’t available, use a hand sanitizer to help clean your hands. Also, try to avoid touching your face with your hands. With the current pandemic hand washing is one of the most important tips to help your immune system.
A Healthy Diet May Help Immune Function
Eat as many colors of fruits and veggies as possible. This helps to ensure you’re getting a wide array of needed vitamins. Consider supplements with Vitamins C, D, and zinc to help with immunity. Try to fit at least 5 (or more) servings of fruits and vegetables into your meals every day.
Regular Exercise and Sleep May Help Your Immune System
Get regular exercise. Being stressed out can reduce your immune function. Trying to get 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can help reduce stress and possibly keep your immune system stronger. Also, catch some zzzz’s…as close to the recommended 8 hours as you can. We know this isn’t always possible, but it is something to aim for as frequently as you’re able. Sleep is when our body recovers and rebuilds itself so if you aren’t sleeping enough your body may be more susceptible to getting sick.
Follow Sanitary Recommendations
Sneeze or cough into a tissue, rather than your hand or crook of your arm. Some viruses can survive on fabric for extended periods of time. Use a tissue one time only and then discard it and wash your hands. Also, sanitize your phone and other high touch surfaces on a regular basis. Think of all the places your phone has been, and also what you’ve touched prior to touching your phone…numerous times each day. Other areas that are touched at a high frequency include door handles and counter tops. Sanitizing your car interior may also be a good idea.
Stay Home if you are Sick
If you do feel sick please stay home and call your medical doctor to get their opinion on if you should seek further care or rest at home to recover. Avoid going into public areas until you are healthy again. If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse contact your medical doctor for guidance on what do to next. If you would like more information on protecting yourself during the current pandemic please consult the CDC guidelines.