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Giving Compass' Take:
• In an article for TreeHugger, Katherine Martinko provides readers with six everyday methods to strengthen the immune system as the coronavirus outbreak continues.
• While she mentions the false notion of 'boosting' the immune system, Martinko implores the idea of a healthy lifestyle to ward off viruses. Why is it important for people to distinguish between fact and fiction in preventing disease as the coronavirus increases its reach?
You can't really 'boost' your immune system, but certain lifestyle decisions will make its job easier.
1. Get enough sleep.
Too little sleep is like a giant welcome mat for illnesses. It makes your body more susceptible to getting sick, as does an irregular sleep schedule. Increase your odds of fending off illness by allowing yourself a solid 7 to 9 hours of shut-eye nightly.
2. Eat well.
Fuel your body from within by eating a wide range of plant-based, fiber-rich, and colorfully varied foods. Harvard Medical School professor Shiv Pillai told the Washington Post there is no "strong scientific evidence for any specific type of food being linked to better immune function," so you can ignore the slew of supplements being marketed toward the coronavirus in particular. Instead, focus on getting your nutrition from whole foods.
3. Don't stress.
Do what you can to reduce the stress in your life. Exercise helps, as does finding ways to enjoy yourself that don't involve spending time in large crowds. Enjoy guilt-free Netflix binges at home on your couch or explore solitary hobbies, such as playing music, board games, baking, or reading books.
4. Keep exercising.
Exercise has many benefits. It helps to maintain immune health by getting white blood cells moving through the body.
5. Avoid alcohol.
As tempting as it might be to bury your fears in a nightly bottle of wine, don't do it! The Guardian reports that heavy drinking depletes immune cells.
6. Practice good hygiene.
Keep washing your hands! It's the simplest and most effective protection against catching unwanted germs. Think, too, about minimizing places for germs to hide, such as under long fingernails, rings, and bracelets, either by wearing fewer of them or including in your hand-scrubbing.
Read the full article about strengthening the immune system by Katherine Martinko at TreeHugger.