Many of us have been working from home the last few months. Now that we are returning to office, it’s important to look after our health to avoid getting sick. Here are some easy, yet highly effective ways to strengthen your body’s defense against infection and illness during the pandemic.
Sleep is vital
The coronavirus outbreak has turned everything upside down – from our daily routine to working hours and sleeping schedules.
Seven hours of sleep at night improves the function of white cells, which attack and kill viruses. It is also worthwhile to conduct a sleep audit to analyse how sleeping habits have changed in the last few months and how they can be reverted to normal.
However, it’s important to understand that sleep and well-being go hand in hand and getting a good night’s sleep is a natural way to enhance the immune system and fight off external pathogens like viruses, says Dr Jyoti Upadhyay, Specialist - Internal Medicine, Aster Hospital, Mankhool. “Seven hours of sleep at night improves the function of white cells, which attack and kill viruses. It is also worthwhile to conduct a sleep audit to analyse how sleeping habits have changed in the last few months and how they can be reverted to normal.”
Eating a balanced diet is a sure-fire way to improve your immunity. “Include food rich in vitamin C, such as grapefruits, oranges, tangerines, sweet red pepper and broccoli, in your diet as these can help increase white blood cell production, which is key to fighting infection,” explains Dr Reyaz Ahmed, Specialist Internal Medicine, Prime Medical Center, BurJuman.
Vitamin D is another essential vitamin that can help in our immune function. Salmon, tuna, egg yolks and yoghurt are good sources of vitamin D.
Nuts and seeds make for the perfect snack at work. Also eat avocado and spinach as part of a healthy diet. “These are packed with vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a key role in regulating and supporting immune system function. Green tea, with its antioxidant properties, can also help enhance immunity. Vitamin D is another essential vitamin that can help in our immune function. Salmon, tuna, egg yolks and yoghurt are good sources of vitamin D,” says Dr Ahmed.
The simple acts of moving your body can help improve your well-being, mood and stamina.
New study from the University of Bath, published earlier this year in Exercise Immunology Review, emphasised the power of regular, daily exercise on our immune system, explaining why people should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during a pandemic. “Working out and exercising regularly will help you stay fit and bulletproof your body. A few high intensity workouts a week will go a long way in strengthening your immune system,” says Dr Upadhyay.