As we all learn to cope with a prolonged period of lockdown and adjust to the situation, we are doing all we can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our patients and colleagues.
So, we thought we would put together some things you can do to support your immune system and help your body be in the best condition possible to help you to stay safe over the coming weeks.
Actions, like eating a healthy diet and taking regular exercise, could help your immune system at these times - particularly important for anyone in ‘vulnerable high-risk groups’.
Here are some ideas for maintaining your immunity and staying healthy at this difficult time:
Eat a healthy diet
Getting enough nutrients in your diet is essential to nourish your body and mind during uncertain times. The British Nutrition Foundation says that having a healthy diet is important for supporting your immune function and helping your body fight infection.
Getting enough Vitamin C
The body needs vitamin C to make collagen, a protein required to help us heal and has always been recommended as an immune boosting supplement in our diets.
Foods such as green vegetables like spinach and cabbage, peppers and many fruits like kiwi and citrus fruits are high in vitamin C, so we would recommend incorporating them in to your weekly diet.
Take regular exercise
The World Health Organisation has highlighted the importance of staying physically active to maintain health, wellbeing, and quality of life while under lockdown. Even under lockdown, official guidance says it’s okay to leave the house for exercise once a day. A bike ride, walking the dog or a jog could all be part of your daily routine to keep moving, but maintaining your distance outside and keeping safe.
Getting enough Vitamin D
The sun is the best source of vitamin D. Our body creates it from direct sunlight on our skin, this then helps regulate the amount of phosphate and calcium in our body, which is needed to keep our bones, teeth and muscles healthy. So, make the most of your garden or outdoor space now Spring is here.
Get enough sleep
There are many reasons why the coronavirus outbreak might affect your sleep, including higher levels of stress and lower levels of physical activity. This can be an issue for some people because prolonged lack of sleep has been linked with lower immunity and poor mental health.
Speaking to the Metro newspaper, sleep expert Dr. Kat Lederle suggested that we should all try to get more natural light, set boundaries between work time and rest time, shut off electronics before bed, stick to regular meal times and try to reduce stress.
Wash your hands
The NHS says that washing your hands is a key part of preventing the spread of viruses like the coronavirus. It is important that you continue washing your hands throughout lockdown, even if you aren’t heading out as much as before. To limit the spread of coronavirus, UNICEF recommends washing your hands:
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After visiting a public space like the supermarket or using public transport
- After touching surfaces outside the home, including money
- Before, during and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after eating
Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol
Smoking and drinking too much alcohol can weaken your immune system and therefore put you at greater risk of catching any viruses going around. This prompted Public Health England’s Director of Health to urge smokers to quit their habit. He said: “There has never been a more important time to stop smoking, not only for your health but to protect those around you.”
Separate research also shows that drinking too much can weaken your immune system and leave you more vulnerable to viruses. (If you are preparing to conceive the advice is not to drink or smoke at all).
At Manchester Fertility, we’re keeping communication lines open throughout the coronavirus crisis for patient advice and reassurance. We are also publishing regular updates on our website, social media channels, and our app. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like to discuss any concerns with one of our friendly team of experts. You can call our Patient Team on 0161 300 2730.
Last updated: 17th April 2020