With the second wave of Covid-19 leading to a surge in cases, building a strong immunity would be on the top of your priority list. While you must have included the immunity-boosting superfoods that everyone has been talking about since the pandemic broke out, there are few tweaks that you can make to your regular habits to further strengthen your immunity.
“Regular physical activity tends to flush the bacteria out of lungs and airways and reduces the risk of catching cold, flu or other illnesses. Regular exercise can boost your immunity and help combat infections by strengthening the antibodies and white blood cells; the immune system cells that fight against diseases,” says Ruchi Sharma, clinical nutritionist and founder of Eat. Fit. Repeat. Moreover, exercise can also help your body curb stress and chronic inflammation. So get up, roll out the mat and do some crunches for a flat stomach and stronger immune system.
When working from home, it’s easier to fall into the trap of unhealthy bingeing. So make a conscious effort to replace the chips and nachos with cut fruits or salads. You can keep cucumber or carrot slices handy when hunger pangs strike. Pair these with heathy yoghurt dips and you wouldn’t want to go back to the chips. It’s essential to maintain a healthy weight. Are you wondering how weight affects the immune system? Several research and studies have proven that excess fat in overweight or obese individuals can turn the body’s natural defence system against them putting the immune system off-balance causing several diseases.
Modern science has often stressed on the closely linked relationship between brain and body. Meditation as we know is an effective defence against stress. “Stress tends to suppress the immune function, making you vulnerable to colds and other infections. The best way to combat or alleviate stress response is meditation. In short, minimising stress can boost your immunity,” says Ruchi.
Diet plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system. “Consuming a diet loaded up with antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A etc can bolster our natural immune function by reducing the oxidative stress caused by free radicals,” says Ruchi.
Smoking causes harm to our immune system by affecting its ability to fight several pathogens. “Moreover, smoking has also been associated with the imbalance of immune system that increases the risk of various immune and autoimmune disorders in the body,” explains Ruchi. So if you are looking for ways to stay healthy and protect yourself from the virus, try these simple tweaks.
You need to get enough sleep to keep your immune system in ship-shape condition. The body requires about 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep to rejuvenate and reboot its systems. If you cut into that time by staying up browsing social media or binge watching shows then you disrupt the normal functioning of your body which can lead to a series of illness like obesity, stress and emotional imbalance among others.