A healthy immune system is crucial as we start to get out of shelter in place and start gathering in our communities.  Even with social distancing in place, we all fear a secondary break-out of COVID-19 as rules become looser.  To safeguard your system, it’s important to strengthen your immune system. With a strong immune system, you can defend yourself against a secondary coronavirus attack.

A Closer Look at Immune Function

The immune system is precisely that—a system, not a single entity, which is the reason there are no clear protocols to build it.  To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response.

The Effects of Lifestyle

Since your lifestyle has a large effect on the immune system, research is being done on diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors that can boost or deplete the system overall.  In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start helping you stay strong as we start to move into the “new normal” and once again and start increasing our social contact with others.

Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

1. Keep your body hydrated; hydration thins the mucous which helps remove viruses.

2. Limit processed foods and eat a whole foods diet, high in fruits and vegetables.

3. Exercise regularly to increase the movement of immune cells throughout the whole body.

4. Maintain a healthy weight to protect against a variety of diseases and lessen work load of the immune system.

5. Get plenty of sleep and rest – a single night of sleep deprivation can depress your immune system for the next day; get at least 7 hours of sleep per night and take 20-minute naps or rest periods.

6. Continue the practice of frequent hand washing and cooking meats thoroughly.

7. Minimize stress with yoga, meditation and calming walks in nature; integrate slowly into the community by making gentle transitions back to work and to social groups.

8. Don’t share towels nor tooth paste tubes to limit passing on bacteria and germs to other family members.