The New Normal?
For the past year the Coronavirus global pandemic has been in the center of our lives, our conversations and our well being concerns.
Whilst we witnessed many changes and restrictions, it has also given us time to think about how we want to go about improving our habits in order to enhance the quality of our lives and be more respectful of our environment, our surroundings and the general well-being of our communities.
So what is the new normal?
Our immune system is a complex series of structures, organs and cells whose main job is to protect us against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When the immune system is functioning correctly, it can identify a variety of threats and differentiate them from the body’s #healthy tissue and help combat disease.⠀ ⠀
There are many different components that make up our immune system and in order for it to function #well, it needs to be well regulated and in balance. Therefore it is vital to maintain a #healthylifestyle and to make sure that we are well armed to thrive
During these times that we are dealing with the pandemic, we should not lose sight of the fact that we can continue to proactively take steps to maintain our #vitality, both in mind and in body.⠀
What are the essential steps to boosting our #immunesystem?
#1: During the past few weeks, many of you, my patients, have reached out to me for advice on how to deal with the stress that you are feeling in these uncertain times. High anxiety levels on a long-term basis can cause chronically elevated levels of the stress hormone known as cortisol. This may cause a negative effect on the immune system and block it from kicking into gear to protect our bodies. ⠀⠀
There are many ways to reduce stress in our lives and each person has to find what best fits their lifestyle. Exercise, reducing caffeine intake, spending time with friends (zoom meetings) learning to say no, learning to avoid procrastination, talking to a professional, using mindfulness and meditation can all be ways of reducing stress. There is no one way fits all. Each person has to define what makes them feel relaxed and serene. Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need any help! Stay safe and healthy. ⠀
#2: It is important to eat a balanced diet. The gut and the immune system are interconnected. Eating healthy foods leads to a healthy micro biome which leads to a healthy immune system that can help fight off infection faster. Eat whole foods, fruits, lean proteins and vegetables. It’s also a good idea to include fermented foods like miso, yogurt and kefir in your diet because they help feed the good bacteria in your gut.
Stay away from processed foods, fried foods and added sugar which are inflammatory. ⠀
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and use supplements such as Vitamin D and Vitamin C to boost the immune system. ⠀
#3 Be active and exercise regularly. Physical activity can boost the immune system in many ways. Regular exercise increases the body’s production of antibodies. It also helps expel toxins which can energize your cells and metabolism. Regular exercise also lowers your body’s stress hormones which gives your immune system added strength. Take a walk or go for a run just be sure to keep that 2 meter distance. Go outside and garden. Do workout videos on YouTube. Find something to get your body moving and your immune system as well as your mind and body in shape.
#4 SLEEP It’s important to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Your body heals and regenerates while you sleep, making adequate sleep critical for a healthy immune response. During your sleep, your body produces and distributes key immune cells which keep you balanced, energized and focused. ⠀
#5 Limit alcohol consumption and do not smoke. Drinking a glass of red wine at meals is actually proven to be beneficial, and at times great to relax your mind, but excess amounts of alcohol can affect your immune system negatively. Try a herbal tea at night instead.
Toxins that are released by cigarette smoke interfere with the growth and function of immune cells and of course are the cause of cancer and chronic pulmonary disease amongst many other illnesses. What’s more the byproducts of smoking such as carbon monoxide and nicotine reduced blood flow and leave skin dry and discolored. We know that inhaling irritating substances like tobacco smoke affect the ability of our lungs to function well and disrupt the immune system causing a chronic degree of inflammation in the airways. The presence of inflammation in addition during the pandemic of COVID-19 is a risk factor for severe complications of the infection. —
#6. Stay in touch with your friends and family. Humans are social beings and staying in contact with the people they care about brings balance and harmony not only to their mental health but it also positively influences their physical well-being. Studies have shown that social isolation can lead to cellular changes that can make us more prone to getting sick by affecting the immune system.