COLORADO SPRINGS — As the coronavirus pandemic continues to disrupt life as we know it, health experts are encouraging people to boost their immune systems.
Boosting your immune system can play a critical role if you've contracted COVID-19. Doctor Robert Posner says studies have shown that major risk factors for getting the virus include advanced age, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, lung disease, and immune system weakness.
“More effort should go into improving one’s personal health right now,” said Posner. “There is a lot that we can do to help protect ourselves from this virus, starting with boosting our immune system.”
When you have a strong immune system, it's more likely you'll be able to fight off or minimize viruses if you're exposed. A weaker immune system may have a difficult time being able to fight them off, which could lead to serious or dire outcomes. Posner says there are several ways to boost your immune system.
1. Lose weight- According to research conducted by Johns Hopkins University, obesity is a major risk factor for COVID-19 hospitalization. Losing weight can boost your immune system, reduce risks associated with the virus, and help with a plethora of other health-related conditions.
2. Sleep well- Not getting enough sleep weakens your immune system, so it’s a good idea to create a healthy sleep habit routine. If you are not getting enough good sleep, you impair mental functioning, increase appetite that leads to weight gain, and promote insulin resistance. The CDC reports that a lack of sleep weakens the immune system by reducing the proper function of cells, increasing the inflammatory response, and reducing the production of antibodies.
3. Reduce stress- Psychological stress has been shown time and again to weaken the immune system. It’s to find healthy ways to reduce stress and keep it in check. Make a point to do things daily that will help to combat stress, such as exercising, meditating, doing yoga, journaling, etc.
4. Eat healthier- It’s important to eat a diet that has plenty of fruits and vegetables, so that you get the protective antioxidants they provide. Getting the body the nutrients that it needs will help to keep your immune system stronger.
5. Take supplements- Some of the ones that have been proven to help boost the immune system include vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, and maitake mushroom extract.
6. Exercise regularly- According to the NIH, physical activity may help flush bacteria from the lungs and airways, reducing your chances of getting illnesses, but it also causes a change in antibodies and white blood cells, which helps the immune system fight disease.
Posner says it's important to avoid smoking and drinking tons of alcohol during the pandemic.
"Cigarettes can really lower the immune system. It affects the lungs and cells as such," said Posner. "Excess alcohol intake, with COVID you're seeing the alcohol use is up because people are reaching for alcohol as a stress reducer."
He has created a new immune system booster, called SeroImmune. The supplement has been developed to boost immunity and contains clinically proven immune-boosting ingredients, including vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, elderberry, and maitake mushroom. The patented blend boosts mood and the immune system. Preorders are now being taken for the October 2020 release.