Sometimes the best offense is a good defense. A strong immune system will not prevent contracting COVID-19 and COVID-19 variants. But, it could be the best response.
Our immune system is complex. It consists of antibodies, complex proteins, networks, organs, and white blood cells. Some parts work to prevent viruses and bacteria, and other parts work to attack them. When our antibodies recognize a pathogen that is trying to attack our body, it will attach itself to the subsequent invading antigens to signal to the rest of our body that we are under attack. Yet, this is only possible in most cases if we’ve developed specific antibodies to protect us or we receive a vaccine.
Since we do not have existing antibodies to protect us since SARs-CoV-2, the pathogen that activates COVID-19 is new to us. But, if you can build up a strong immune system, you can buy your body time to familiarize itself if you contract the virus.
Most people’s immune system is durable, to begin with. In fact, our immune systems can evolve and adapt rapidly. It creates a sort of library that collects memories of previous attacks in the form of memory B cells. After a previous attack, your body will store such cells so that if you get infected again, it can quickly produce antibodies to keep you protected. But, again, it can’t prevent a virus. This makes the point that having a strong immune system could be the best response while your body adapts. In this article, we’ll discuss two things: one, how to boost your immune system, and two, how to keep your immune system strong.
How to Boost Your Immune System
There are two effective ways to boost your immune system: physical activity and healthy food choices.
Physical activity is vital to boosting your immune system. More specifically, it appears that moderate-intensity physical activity is better than high-intensity physical activity. This is because high-intensity or high-volume training may happen to weaken your immune system. It’s recommended that we get 150-300 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise per week, plus two strength-training sessions. Here are a few ways to incorporate these into your day.
Aerobic exercise provides excellent variety. If you want to stay inside, dancing, jump rope, or an online HIIT class is good. If you want to go outside, walking, running, biking or gardening are good too.
Strength training also has plenty of options. Squats, pushups, and lunges on stairs will all hit many muscle groups. Plus, if you have dumbbells at home, there are many online exercises to follow along and join with others.
Healthy Food Choices
Healthy food choices can boost your immune system, strengthen your ability to fight infections, and keep you healthy. To do this, you need a combination of essential vitamins and minerals. While many will opt out and take a multivitamin. It is best to provide your body with nutrients through natural sources such fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean cuts of protein.
Vitamin A keeps your tissues and skin healthy, which helps regulate your immune system and provides protection against infections. The best sources are apricots, carrots, and spinach.
Vitamin C has antibodies that can fight bacteria and infections. The best sources are bell peppers, broccoli, oranges, and tomatoes.
Vitamin D can keep your immune system and bones healthy. The best sources are eggs, mushrooms, red meat, and salmon.
Vitamin E can help fight cell damage and boost your immune system. The best sources are nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli.
Zinc works as an antioxidant that can help boost metabolism and help heal wounds. The best sources are beans/legumes, nuts/seeds, meat, and shellfish.
How to Keep Immune System Strong
Once you have successfully given your immune system a boost, it is now essential to keep it strong. The best ways are to get adequate sleep and to schedule mindfulness practices.
Sleep is crucial to keeping your immune system strong. How much you need depends on your age. Adults aim for 7 or more hours, teens aim for 8-10 hours, school-age children aim for 9-12 hours, preschoolers aim for 10-13 hours, and toddlers aim for 11-14 hours.
Engaging in mindfulness practices is an excellent way to combat stress and keep your immune system strong. Practicing meditation or trying yoga are great options.
COVID-19 and its variants have caused many people to become stressed, overwhelmed. This has led people to feel a sense that they are losing control of the situation. Thankfully, in terms of boosting your immune system and keeping it strong, the recommendations above are within your control. Once again, a strong immune system will not prevent you from contracting the virus, but it could be the best response for it.
There is a lot to think about! If you have questions about how a strong immune system could be the best response to COVID-19 & Its Variants, connecting with a doctor in a discrete setting has never been easier.
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