While we continue to protect ourselves from the COVID-19 virus, we can take specific actions to reduce the likelihood of infection. We can self-isolate, staying home whenever possible. We can increase the number of times we wash our hands (for 20 seconds or more) and avoid touching the face. We can maintain a 6-foot distance from those we don’t live with, and we can disinfect items we bring into the house. There is also something else we can do help ourselves stay healthy; we can strengthen our immune system!
There are a number of ways to strengthen the immune system:
- Get adequate sleep-aim for 8 hours per night.
- Eat a plant based diet-plant based diets provide additional nutrition without the added calories and saturated fats.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking damages your immune system. If quitting on your own is too difficult, contact your medical professional and ask about different methods for quitting smoking, take the online tobacco cessation class that is available on our portal or contact the QuitLine using your wellness portal.
- Reduce stress through meditation, reading, listening to music, doing a hobby, etc.
- Walk daily. Engaging in moderate exercise daily is important for heart health and an improved immune system.
- Connect with someone! Good relationships, even connecting electronically, are good for our immune system!
- Watch a comedy or read a funny book! Laughing is good medicine and can improve our health.
A healthy immune system will not always keep us from getting sick. It can, however, help us get through an illness more quickly and with reduced symptoms. During this difficult time, do your best to take care of yourself and follow recommended procedures for your location if you feel ill. We will get through this together and we want to get through this with a healthier immune system!