I have always believed in the saying “Everything in moderation is probably okay and everything in excess is potentially a problem.”
In light of current threats to our health and our society, I’m not sure that applies. Life as we know it is different and we must take extra steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones. So, from a medical perspective, what do you need to do now?
- If you smoke, there no better time than now to quit or reduce your smoking frequency. COVID-19 is a pulmonary pathogen. It attacks the lining of the lung causing severe inflammation. Smokers have a greater incidence of pulmonary complications and poor outcomes.
- If you have a chronic medical issue (e.g. diabetes, hypertension, COPD, etc.) make sure you monitor and treat your condition aggressively. Now is not the time to ignore your body. Stay on top of your health condition, take your medications, and communicate with your doctor if you have any concerns.
- If you drink, don’t binge drink. Excessive alcohol intake can have a short-term effect on your immune system. Try and reduce your alcohol intake by 50%. It will help in these troubled times.
- Get some extra sleep. Proper sleep allows your body to recover from the day. The more rest you get the more resources and energy will be available for your immune system to produce antibodies and fight infection.
- Boost your immune system. Eat a well-balanced diet. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, foods rich in omega fatty acids, and avoid simple sugars and junk food.
- Drink plenty of water. Stay hydrated. Some sports drinks are good water substitutes to get more vitamins and minerals. Avoid excessive caffeine as it will dehydrate you.
- Take a multivitamin daily. Any once-a-day, the age-appropriate vitamin is suitable.
- Increase Vitamin C intake. “High-C” and other supplements are available at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- Take natural supplements. Natural immunity supplements to include ginger, turmeric, garlic, basil leaves, and cumin help in boosting immunity. Certain seeds and nuts like sunflower seeds, flaxseed and pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein and vitamin E. Antioxidants are also benefits such as acai, A, C, and E.
- Probiotics like live cultural yogurt and fermented foods are also excellent sources to rejuvenate the composition of gut bacteria, which is important for nutrient absorption by the body. These are especially good options for the older generation.
- Don’t skip on exercise. We all have a little extra free time. Don’t become a victim of “The Quarantine 15”. Sedentary lifestyle may cause your weight to increase. It’s not good for your overall health and not good for your immune system.
- Stay educated. The world and the information regarding this pandemic are changing rapidly. Stay updated and follow all governmental guidance. Listen to the experts. Be wary of sensational social media posts. Pay attention to reputable media outlets, the CDC, and the government. Follow all recommendations.
Throughout history, events have occurred that mold and change our actions forever. Often for the best. This crisis has reinforced what we already know; we need to take care of our bodies and our health. All the recommendations listed above are things we know we should be doing regularly. Take this time to start following daily routines that both help us protect ourselves and our families. But don’t stop. See this is an opportunity to live a healthier life for years to come.