While the medical community continues to work on studying and developing a vaccine against the contagious novel coronavirus, prevention is at our topmost defense to fight against it.
Knowing that the virus highly affects those with weak immune systems, it is up to us to strengthen our defense and protection, not just for us but also for our community.
The immune system is a natural defense mechanism in our body that keeps us away from disease-causing microorganisms such as germs, viruses, and other invaders. It is made up of different kinds of cells that need to co-exist in balance and harmony to achieve good health. However, there are times that it will fail us, resulting in the successful invasion of germs to our body, hence causing sickness.
But fret not because there are ways for us to boost the strength of our immune system for us to beat not only novel viruses but other contagious illnesses such as common colds and flu, too.
Have a healthy lifestyle
Again and again, having a healthy lifestyle will bring many more benefits than you ever thought it could. It is basically your ticket to strong immunity.
How to know you’re living a healthy lifestyle? See the list down below:
- Smoking is a BIG NO for you, obviously.
- You include vegetables and fruits on your diet—lots of it! Aside from eating greens, you also pay close attention to your serving sizes to avoid getting too much of a single vitamin.
- You’d take an extra mile to exercise regularly. It improves your body’s ability to fight infection by speeding up the circulation of white blood cells around the body. During physical activity, it flushes bacteria out through lungs and airways. Moreover, the brief rising of temperature prevents the growth of bacteria, a phenomenon similar whenever we get a fever. One more thing, exercise also slows down the release of stress hormones.
- Get adequate sleep. According to Sleep Foundation, “while more sleep won’t necessarily prevent you from getting sick, skimping on it could adversely affect your immune system.” Consequently, making you vulnerable to a bad cold or flu.
- Boost your immune system by maintaining your appropriate weight. You can check out your weight status based on your body mass index here.
- Always stay hydrated. Don’t settle for eight glasses of water a day. If you’re the type who likes to drink alcoholic beverages, make sure to drink in moderation.
- Socializing can also boost your immune system. Social isolation is being considered as a risk factor by some health authorities for chronic diseases. Explained in research made by the American Psychology Association, social isolation induces stress; which can lead to slowing down the body’s immune response. Furthermore, considering our unavoidable, fast-paced lifestyle nowadays, distressing is really important to keep your health in check.
- Get your annual Influenza (flu) shots. Flu is more likely to peak and breakout every rainy/cold season, that is why, the Department of Health encourages the public to get flu injections annually—preferably between February and June. It is ideal to take the vaccine at least two months before the flu season starts. In the Philippines, it usually peaks around July and August. You can get a free shot at your local community health centers, especially for senior citizens. Meanwhile, if you prefer to have it in private clinics and hospitals, it may cost between 500 to 1000 pesos, depending on the vaccine’s brand.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, practice basic hygiene daily. All those healthy life choices will go down the drain if you don’t practice as basic as washing hands before every meal. As simple as showering once or twice a day and hand washing before eating or when preparing food can steer you away from infection. In washing your hands, make sure to use soap and running water, and rub it for at least 20 seconds—and don’t forget to scrub your fingernails too. You might also want to consider carrying with you hand sanitizers or alcohols wherever you go. Use it to disinfect shared surfaces such as doorknobs, keyboards, and the likes. Most importantly, always cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing. In the absence of tissue or handkerchief, it is advisable to rather use the crook of your elbow than your hands.
The following is not only meant to protect us from contagious illnesses. By converting to a healthier lifestyle or even as simple as taking care of one’s hygiene, we don’t just protect ourselves from potential illnesses but also our loved ones and our community at the same time.
Barr, Sabrina. (2018, May 30). How to boost your immune system: From going to bed early to eating more mushrooms. Independent. Retrieved on January 27, 2020, from www.independent.co.uk/life-style
Jovinally, J. (2017, November 16). The secrets to never getting sick. Healthline. Retrieved on January 27, 2020, from www.healthline.com/health