With even stricter lockdowns being reinstated across a number of cities and countries that are seeing the rise of the second wave of the pandemic, those who took the backseat and whose only form of reinforcement from the virus was to stay indoors, may do well to proactively take necessary steps to bolster their immunity arsenal and fortify their defenses against the virus for the coming months.
According to many functional medicine doctors, good immunity goes a long way, and really requires only a few basic practices that every person should make a point of incorporating into their every day.
Gone should be the days of sedentary lifestyles, and subjecting our bodies to all-nighters, unmoderated alcohol consumption, and processed or sugar-rich food. All these factors have proven time and time again through numerous scientific studies to be the main culprits driving our poor immune system, and that serve to usher in chronic disease.
External devices in the form of face masks, UV disinfection lamps, and air purifiers, while helpful, can only go so far. There are a myriad ways our bodies are already equipped to repel foreign attacks, we just have to make sure we’re doing our part and allowing it to provide us uncompromised health.
We’re big fans of keeping things simple and straightforward. With everything the pandemic has wrought on us, it's important to stay level-headed and consciously aware of what our bodies really need. With that, we’ve outlined a few reminders that we’ve gathered over the past few months that we should immediately be able to implement in order to make sure that our immune system is in its most optimal state.
Getting that 7-8 hours of good quality sleep has never been more crucial. As we talked about in our Sleep Series, the timing of your sleep cycle to your body’s circadian rhythm is equally essential in order to work with our body to achieve the maximal benefits that sleep provides. Apart from detoxifying our bodies, sleep has a myriad of immune health benefits that allow us to meet the demands of daily life.
With the heightened alert state many of us are in from the minute we get up, to the minute our heads hit the pillow, deep rest through quality sleep is our built-in reset button that may just be what keeps us calm, active, and truly human throughout this shared experience.
Skip the processed food and go for organically-grown, and pesticide-free that deliver more of the nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals your body needs. You stay satiated longer, and remove the risk of developing chronic disease from exposure to pesticide-contaminated food. Ditto for sugar-y beverages and sweets.
The value of daily movement cannot be stressed enough. 30 minutes of exercise, even if it’s just walking, have been shown to improve mood, heart rate variability, and stress management.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but are definitely the first big rocks that should be tackled on our road to achieving optimal immune health. Start small, and build from there.
One over-arching theme we’re continuously reminded of is that all of us are in this shared experience together. That our individual actions affect the whole. That there are no borders high enough to shield us from our actions, and that of someone half a world away.
Maybe that should be a strong enough call to action to show some care for ourselves, because when we do, we show care for the rest of the world too.