The ubiquitous threat of spreading coronavirus sounds the alarm, and the topic of strengthening our immune systems is even more alarming than ever. What can you do to increase your body’s defenses?
Tip 1: Dress Properly
Improper clothing often leads to illness, especially during sports or other physical activity, when sweating and subsequent colds occur. You can prevent it thanks to functional clothing and layering.
Good advice: Merino wool clothing, which repels moisture from the body, will serve as a bottom and a middle thermal insulation layer. “This material can respond to climate change and the intensity of the body’s warming, so it heats up in the cold and cools down in the heat again,” explains Tomáš Uglaj, an outdoor clothing specialist from Norwegian Fashion. Besides, the merino warms you up even when wet.
Tip 2: Good Sleep
Long-term sleep deprivation can lead to various diseases, from cardiovascular through diabetes to a weaker immune system. We sleep about a third of our lives; however, it is more important how well we sleep than how long. Therefore, when choosing the right mattress and slatted frame, also pay attention to sufficient dimming, which eliminates disturbing street lighting. So-called light smog, especially in urban agglomerations, can lead to sleep deprivation and prevent melatonin production. However, outdoor blinds and shutters can create complete darkness.
Good advice: “We can also build an electronic timer or solar sensor into blinds or shutters. At a certain moment the screening will open based on the time of the day, so that your body can wake up physiologically,“ advises Jan Žižlavský from ISOTRA, the company that focuses on screening technology.
Tip 3: Become More Resistant to Cold and Use Sauna
Exposing the body to the cold is one of the effective means of increasing its defenses. Start slowly by lowering the temperature of the shower, but pay attention to regularity. When building resistance, you should also use sauna: it detoxifies the body, increases defenses, improves blood circulation and skin quality.
Good advice: More and more people are buying their own infrared saunas, which are very small, so they can also fit into apartments. All you have to do is heat them to 60 °C and spend there up to 40 minutes.
Tip 4: Plenty of Exercise Outside
A regular walk in nature works wonders! You will receive the missing vitamin D, which improves the immune system. You reduce the risk of overweight and cardiovascular problems with an exercise – and you also flush out endorphins, the hormones of happiness, which also have a beneficial effect.
Good advice: You can try various outdoor sports: running, outdoor gyms, cycling, rollerblading or roller skiing, tai chi, frisbee or disc golf, etc.
If you feel that something is not okay, make ginger tea with lemon and honey
Tip 5: The Clean Air
Large temperature differences between outdoors and in your house can lead to the weakening of your immune system. Besides, superheated air dries the mucous membranes. “Once it gets cold outside, we tend to spend more time indoors and ventilate our homes less often,” said Gem McLuckie, senior scientist at microbiology at Dyson. What’s more, more dust enters the air we breathe. When we turn on the heating, air currents can move mite droppings and allergens. Therefore, many people with allergies find that their allergy symptoms worsen during the winter months.
Good advice: An air purifier that can remove dirt from the air can solve the problem. Devices such as Dyson Hot+Cool can also maintain a constant temperature in an apartment or house. It should ideally be around 22 °C, in the bedroom, even 4 °C less.
In addition to water, bet on healthy smoothies or unsweetened teas.
Tip 6: Vitamin Supplements
Get more Cs! It’s not about a retro plastic toy from the ’80s, but about a vitamin, which you should increase during viral diseases. A well-known source of vitamin C are citrus fruits; however, you can also find it in kiwis, cabbage, red peppers, rose hips, etc.
Good advice: Try so-called superfoods with a high content of beneficial substances, primarily vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, or n-3 fatty acids. They can be found in Chinese gooseberry, chia seeds, blueberries, beets, avocados, sea buckthorn, and others.
Tip 7: Drinking Regime
In addition to water, bet on healthy smoothies or unsweetened teas. There are herbal mixtures to support the immune system. Try “grandmothers herbal selection” teas containing rosehip, sea buckthorn, motherwort, etc. The coneflower (echinacea) is also an aid.
Good advice: If you feel that something is not okay, make ginger tea with lemon and honey (be careful, add honey only after it has cooled down, so as not to destroy its beneficial ingredients).
Tip 8: Strengthening the Intestinal Microflora
Defenses develop in the intestines (up to 70% of the immune system cells are located in the intestine), so maintain the intestinal microflora balance thanks to sour milk products – yogurt, kefir, acidified milk, buttermilk, etc. They contain probiotic bacteria that improve the condition of the intestinal mucosa.
Good advice: Try, for example, the thick sour cream La Formaggeria with probiotic effects or La Formaggeria yogurt from the Litovel cheese factory. Both products are available in both plain and fruit flavors.