While recent positive news about the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines has reassured many of us that the end of the pandemic is now in sight, it’s crucial that we don’t let our guard slip against the COVID threat. While you wait for your chance to get vaccinated, you should seek other ways to strengthen your immunity.
Fortunately, there are actually quite a few straightforward ways for you to bolster your immune system’s defences. Here are some methods you should particularly consider following first.
Increase your vitamin D intake
How much vitamin D do you currently get? It’s probably a lot less than you think. While you could be getting a certain amount of it from foods such as eggs, oily fish and red meats, people tend to source most of their required vitamin D from exposure to sunlight.
That provides a clue as to why vitamin D deficiencies can be common, with the Mirror citing advice that, during winter, you should consider taking a supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D.
Sleep seven hours a night
“Get a reasonable amount of sleep,” CNBC has quoted Dr Anthony Fauci, the respected expert in infectious disease, as advising. According to studies highlighted by the news outlet, people nightly sleeping for six hours or less are four times likelier to catch a cold than those getting seven hours of nightly slumber.
The reason why is that, the longer you sleep, the more opportunity your body gets to create proteins capable of battling infection and reining in inflammation.
Your first thought might be that this isn’t quite a “simple” thing to do, given how much genuine cause for concern the pandemic has given the world. However, you should still “try to avoid or alleviate severe stress, which we know can sometimes impact the immune system,” Fauci says.
Even if you fear that you may currently have COVID-19, you could find out for definite by taking a test. MyHealthChecked can provide COVID-19 tests of 99.9% accuracy to put your mind at rest.
If you are still struggling to relax, getting more physically active could help you to break that deadlock. However, that’s not the only reason why regular exercise would bode well for your immunity.
Working out can also be a great immunity-booster in its own right – though you should aim to be consistent with it and, in total, get at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly, as CNET advises.
Get your nutrition right
Now’s an especially good time for you to sort out your diet. While stressing or worrying about the pandemic could lead you to forget about exactly what you’re eating, you should be careful not to let yourself fall into overly unhealthy eating habits.
You should be especially wary of consuming excessively sugary foods. Dr Michael Roizen, MD and COO of the Cleveland Clinic, tells CNET: “Too much sugar in your system allows the bacteria or viruses to propagate much more because your initial innate system doesn’t work as well.”