Preparing For and Preventing COVID-19

by James Hixon, M.D.
Coronavirus Tips

The coronavirus can cause pneumonia and is caused by a new member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. There are many effective ways to prepare for and prevent getting the coronavirus.

Washing Your Hands Throughout the Day is First Line of Defense for Coronavirus

Simply washing your hands correctly is essential for prevention of colds, flu, and the coronavirus. Get your hand wet under clean running water. Put plenty of soap on your hands and lather your hands up.

Make sure you are washing between your fingers, the back of your hands, and under your nails. Lather your hands for 20 seconds, rinse and dry your hands with a clean dry towel.

Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers as you enter and leave stores. Many stores have hand sanitizers at the entrance of their stores. Rub the sanitizer onto your hands for at least 20 seconds. Keep a small container of sanitizer in your purse or in your car.

Keep Your Distance

If anyone is showing signs of the coronavirus, flu, and/or cold, stay at least 6 feet away. The virus spreads through droplets and through the air by coughing, sneezing, and touching others.

Boosting Your Immune System is the Key to Coronavirua Prevention

The key to flu prevention is boosting your immune system. Your immune system fights off invading bacteria, parasites, and microbes. Focus on building up your immune system as we enter flu season.

Use This Simple Acronym to Boost Your Immune System, S.E.L.F. Care

Schedule S.E.L.F. Care into your daily routine. It will not only enhance your immune system but has many benefits. For instance it will reduce your stress, lower your risk of depression and assist in the prevention of all diseases.

S=Serenity

  • Relax. Your body heals when you slow down and relax. Relaxation gives your body time to renew, boosts your immune system and heals your mind and body.
  • Meditation Practices. There are innumerable types of meditation so I will mention a few simple ones. There are wonderful apps you can easily and quickly turn to for a short renewal, like Mindful Living and Calm. Research shows meditation, guided imagery or repeating a mantra or positive phrase, reduces the stress hormone cortisol and this helps boost your immune system. When you do these various relaxation and meditation practices, your body produces relaxing chemicals such as serotonin and dopamine.
  • Sleep. Sleep is critical for enhancing your immune system. Studies find that lack of sleep lowers your T cell count. As a result this compromises your immune system. Most people need 8 hours of sleep to keep your immune system at maximum capacity.

E=Exercise
Research shows that regular exercise helps boost your immune system. Your circulation, muscles, and organs get stronger and are more efficient which improves your immune system. Just remember not to exercise too much because this can actually overstress your body.

L=Love
Spending time with family and friends is the perfect prescription for staying healthy. Schedule a play or fun date at least once a week. For instance, try talking to a friend over a meal, bonding with a friend at the gym or grab a cup of coffee or tea with someone. Your body produces a hormone called Oxytocin when you are with others. This helps your immune system. The American Psychological Association reported social isolation weakens your immunity and as a result, slows your body’s ability to fight off viruses.

F=Food
Good nutrition is essential to boost your immune system. Food is medicine and helps heal your body and mind. Comfort foods are especially appealing this time of year when it’s chilly outside. However try to stick with vitamin-rich staples like veggies, fish, fruits, and nuts. Below are some foods that help boost your immune system.

  • Mushrooms. For example, the Journal of the American College of Nutrition showed people who at a cooked shitake mushroom each day for a month had a higher T Cell count and less inflammation.
  • Ginger. Ginger is antibacterial. As a result it helps to enhance your immune system. Ginger is a natural blood thinner. It has an anti-inflammatory compound called gingerol. This may be responsible for relaxing blood vessels.
  • Honey. Honey helps to boost your immune system. For example it is loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and antibacterial compounds.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric is a natural way to help bolster the immune system by increasing the immunomodulating capacity of the body.
  • Protein. Protein is essential to boost your immune system. Protein makes up the molecules that fight disease.

Try all the tips in this article to boost your immune system and give you the best chance and preventing becoming ill from the coronavirus.

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