Tips on how to maintain physical health throughout COVID-19 outbreak
Things have escalated quickly with the Coronavirus.
It has certainly gotten much more serious now and it’s time to prepare ourselves for war.
Social distancing, self-quarantine, and hand washing are all designed to slow down exposure to and transmission of this virus. These are all practices we should be following as best as possible.
However, based on forecasting from infectious disease experts, this virus isn’t going away anytime soon. It’s likely to continue to spread just at a slower pace due to the slowdown of human interaction. Let’s assume there is a big possibility we are all going to get exposed to this virus eventually.
What are you doing to ensure your immune system is in the best shape possible to fight this virus, so you don’t get hit hard?
Remember, it’s not actually germs that makes you sick, it’s your body’s inability to properly handle the germs that makes you sick. Think about all the viruses, like the flu, that you get exposed to all the time.
Why do some people get sick and others don’t?
Because they fought it off before it had a chance to multiply and overwhelm their body.
So how do we focus on building health and strengthening our bodies to thrive in these environments?
NINE TIPS STRATEGIES TO BOOST YOUR IMMUNE SYSTEM AND FIGHT OFF VIRUSES
1. Sleep: studies show that sleeping less than seven hours can make you three-times more likely to get sick. Stress and lack of sleep suppresses the immune system. You need at least seven-to-eight hours of sleep: This is essential. I’m preaching to the choir on this one and doing all I can to follow my own advice here. Research shows there is a 70% decrease in immune cell function after only one night of limited sleep (less than five hours). Sleep needs to be a non-negotiable necessity.
2. Workout/Exercise: we know this is a powerful tool to strengthen your immune system, as well as help reduce stress which also helps immune system function. Keep moving and working out.
3. Stay Hydrated: take your bodyweight in pounds and divide by two, drink that many ounces of water per day. For example, a 180-pound person needs at least 90 ounces of water per day.
4. Eat Healthy Foods: load up on immune-boosting nutrients from foods, like Vitamins A (sweet potatoes and carrots), C (citrus fruits and cruciferous veggies), D (eggs, mushrooms, fish) and E (dark leafy greens), Zinc (beef, pumpkin seeds) and selenium (Brazil nuts, sardines). Eat as much fresh produce as possible. They are packed with minerals, vitamins and other compounds that help your immune system function as it was designed.
5. Get Rid of Sugar & Junk Food: very simply, sugar is kryptonite to the immune system. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, and highly refined vegetable oils (like soybean, canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower and sunflower oils) all contribute to unhealthy inflammation and impair the body’s natural immune response.
6. Take Probiotics and get your gut in order: 70% of our immune system is in our gut/digestive tract. One of the most effective ways to support your gut health and immune system is with a good probiotic.
7. Supplement with extra Vitamin C, D & Zinc: These are all immune boosters.
8. Don’t Drink Alcohol: Alcohol affects the way health gut microbes interact with the immune system. It also disrupts the gut barrier allowing more bacteria to pass into your blood. Excessive drinking reduces the number and function of three very important cells in your immune system … macrophages, t-cells, and c-cells. You’re best off avoiding alcohol altogether, or atleast make it very minimal.
9. Relax: studies have shown that psychological stress increases the risk of illnesses in a dose-dependent manner. Meaning- the more stressed you are, the more likely you are to get sick. Make sure you’re properly managing stress. Things I personally do and recommend (along with working out) is meditation, daily prayer and/or gratitude journaling, even just taking 3 slow deep breaths every hour, while thinking of something you’re grateful for, can lower stress hormones and improve immune function.
Of course, wash your hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you feel sick, stay home and rest.
MY ADVICE FOR YOU THIS WEEKEND:
Don’t panic, focus on what you can control, choose faith and resilience, eat healthy, get some exercise get plenty of sleep and rest, get away from watching all the negative news for a while whether it be on television or social media, spend quality time with your family, and be thankful for all the great things in life.
We’re going to beat this thing so take care of yourself.
MS, Author/Speaker, Founder/Director-Tulsa Fitness Systems
Exercise Physiologist, Metabolic Training & Fat Loss Expert, Nutrition Coach
Mindset/High Performance Coach
Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Specialist