At this moment in time everyone is talking about washing hands, social distancing and wearing masks, but I haven’t heard anyone within the government talk about optimising the immune system so that in the eventuality we get this virus we have a better chance of fighting it.
Risk of infection depends on a host of interconnected factors.
Stress is a HUGE one, a heavy stress load and too much cortisol could make us more susceptible, stress comes in many ways, training, poor diet, smoking, caffeine, work, relationships, being overweight and much more.
Age is also a factor, this is why they say over 70’s are at higher risk even if they don’t have any medical issues. The reason for this is because at around the age of 70 white blood cell function decreases, and fewer antibodies are produced.
Body composition is also a huge factor, carrying to much excess fat or too little fat can interfere with sex hormones that effect immunity and body composition related health issues such as heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes increase risk of infection.
Lifestyle such as nutrient deficiencies may lower immune function, exercise has been shown to support immunity but not too much as this can also be a stress on the body. Lack of rest and high quality sleep lowers the body defences.
I am sure some of you will look at the above and it rings a bell, so what can you do to improve the situation?
Focus on whole foods and nutrient dense foods, for example foods high in protein are very important, people who are protein deficient are more susceptible to infection and disease. Foods high in vitamin C, zinc and omega 3 fatty acids.
Get more sunlight, Vitamin D helps protect against respiratory tract infections, if you can’t get enough sun light consider taking a supplement.
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight, exercise, move more and eat well.
Support your gut health, so many of us suffer with gut issues and this could really affect our immune system. Get to the root cause of he issue and start looking after your gut.
Sleep, I cannot emphasise how important sleep is. Get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep. Turn off electronics 1 hour before bed, read, meditate. Stick to the same bed time everyday, make your room as dark as possible and keep your room cool.
Manage stress in the best way possible, we know stress will always be there but we need to be aware of it and try to fix what we can.
Focus on what you can control.
Under YOUR control:
Priorities - Mindset - Actions
Schedule - health Routine
Not under YOUR control:
Politics - World events - News
Other people’s thoughts and actions