In light of the recent COVID-19 outbreak that is currently sweeping the nation as it’s become classified as a world pandemic, many of you are going to be wondering what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting this disease.
The answer is obvious: self-isolation.
If you aren’t currently suffering and want to ensure you stay that way, the only thing you can do to guarantee 100% protection is lock yourself in a room and not come out until it’s over.
Most people simply can’t do that and while governments across the world are instituting store and school closures and social distancing practices to promote a reduced risk of transmission, there is always that chance you can get it if you’re around others.
Unless a family doesn’t leave its home - ever - they are not truly safe.
So why not look at it from another approach. If you were to get it, how can you help ensure you aren’t hit that hard? Boosting your immune system is key.
While this won’t help ensure you necessarily won’t get it, it will help ensure that if you do, your body is primed and ready to fight back.
Recognizing that your immune system is weak is the first step. Here are 8 signs to watch for and what you can do if you notice these presenting in yourself.
Sign 1: You recover from injuries slowly.
When you get injured, be it twisting your ankle, overdoing it in the gym, or simply bruising your shin, do you recover quickly? Or is it a slow and long, drawn out process?
If it takes a while, that’s a good sign that your immune system may not be where you want it to be.
Sign 2: You aren’t sleeping 7-8 hours per night.
There’s no denying this fact: sleep is critical to an optimally functioning immune system. If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, preferably 7-8 hours, you aren’t going to be doing your part to boost your immune system.
Make getting that shut-eye a priority.
Sign 3: You feel stressed.
It’s kind of ironic to tell you not to stress when this pandemic is going on, but the more you can try and relax, the better. Stress has a way of eating away at your immune system so all that stress is actually just going to increase your risk of getting sick.
While it’s hard to keep calm in a situation such as this, do your very best to take care of yourself and your family and then know there is nothing further you can do. Exercise is one of the many support options available right now if you really can’t get your stress and anxiety levels under control.
Sign 4: Your tummy is always bothering you.
One thing few people realize is that much of your immune system is actually located in your gut. This means that if you don’t have optimal gut health, you likely don’t have optimal immune health either.
If you’re constantly experiencing bloating, gas, and indigestion, this is a sign your gut isn’t functioning as it should.
The best way to boost your gut health is to utilize a good probiotic, which will help to build up the levels of good bacteria in your body. If you’ve recently utilized an antibiotic, consider this a must.
Sign 5: Your dieting.
While maintaining a healthy body weight is important, now might not be the time to go on that super strict diet. Dieting itself weakens the immune system because you have fewer resources coming in.
Fewer calories, fewer nutrients, fewer antioxidants to combat damage that is occuring to the body.
Going on a low-carb diet itself will automatically weaken the immune system, so at the very least, if you must diet, choose one with a moderate carbohydrate intake.
Sign 6: You’re feeling tired all the time.
Feeling sluggish? Or perhaps you’re just exhausted? If this is the case, that can also be a sign that you may be suffering from a weak immune system.
Having the odd tired day here and there is normal and a part of life but if you rarely feel like getting out of bed, that is certainly a problem.
Sign 7: You’ve had 3-4 colds this past year.
If you’ve already been ill with the common cold a few times this year, that’s also a good sign that you don’t have the strongest of immune systems (and that you may need to be more mindful of how much you’re touching your face as well).
If your immune system was strong and you did encounter the common cold bug, you may have been able to fight it off.
Again, this isn’t to say that anyone who falls ill has a weak immune system, but if you find that you keep getting sick on a continual basis, there’s a good chance that this could be the case.
Sign 8: You aren’t one to eat your vegetables.
While it is possible to still have a strong immune system without fruits and vegetables in your life, it does make it easier to get the boost you need with these in the picture. Those who load their diet up with plenty of brightly colored produce take in more vitamin C and that is key for strengthening the immune system.
So, there you have it - the eight signs that you may be suffering from a weak immune system. You can take action now to do what you can to boost it back up.
Some of the best steps to take include:
- Getting sufficient sleep at night
- Practicing stress-controlling measures
- Eating plenty of vitamin C
- Getting more vitamin D into your diet plan
- Optimizing your gut health through probiotic supplementation
- Exercising but not overdoing it
- Avoiding extreme diet approaches, or even dieting at all right now
- Adding more zinc-rich foods to your diet (or taking a supplement)
Put these into practice and you can feel confident you’re doing your part to fend off COVID-19.