Boost Immunity During COVID-19 and BeyondSeptember 29, 2021
People have never had a better time focusing on their immune health. Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH, Chairman of Cooper Aerobics explains how to improve immune health and protect yourself from acute diseases like bacterial or viral infection. There is good news: people can take steps to boost their immunity despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Acute immunity is what our bodies need to prevent us from getting sick quickly, such as colds, viral infections, and even coronavirus.
How to boost your immunity against acute diseases
1. Exercise is important now
Exercise is essential to increase your acute immunity to COVID-19. Each person can reap the benefits of even a 30 minute sustained activity several times per week. The American Heart Association deemed “Physical Fitness and All-Cause Mortality,” one of The Cooper Institute’s most well-known studies, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association on November 3, 1989, as the landmark study of the century. It answered the question of how much exercise was necessary.
Our research has also shown that even small amounts of exercise can reduce the risk of death from all causes, including heart attacks, strokes and cancer, and improve longevity for as long as 6 years. In 1986, former Surgeon General Satcher estimated that Americans would be more active and reduce healthcare costs. According to the Cooper Institute’s Medicare study, subjects were followed for 25 years and clearly showed that an active lifestyle can reduce healthcare costs by 40%.
2. Sleep boosts immunity
Your acute immunity to acute disease can be improved by sleeping well. To give your body the necessary restoration to fight infection, I recommend that you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.
3. Determine and control BMI
New York City’s COVID-19 hospitalizations revealed that obesity was the second most dangerous factor. You can find your body mass index (BMI) here. These risk factors were more significant in New York than comorbid conditions like pulmonary disease or cardiovascular disease.
4. Good diet
Healthy eating habits that include all food groups can boost immunity health. It helps to build a strong immune system, reduces the chance of developing chronic diseases and infections, and promotes good nutrition. Zinc is essential for both adaptive and innate immunity. A balanced diet that includes at least five portions of vegetables and fruits daily will boost your immune system. A daily intake of cashews (a quarter cup is one-ounce) provides zinc. Zinc may offer some protection from COVID-19.
5. Hydration is key
To support your immunity, it is important to stay hydrated. Get plenty of water! Hydration is especially important during the summer months. It helps to maintain your internal organs working properly, which in turn increases your immunity for chronic and acute diseases. Don’t drink soft drinks, juices, or any other type of beverage. Get plenty of water, at least four 6–8 ounce glasses daily
6. Immunity Supplementation
Vitamin D can boost your immune system and protect you from respiratory diseases. Northwestern University in Chicago found that the countries with the most COVID-19 cases, such as Spain, Italy and the United Kingdom, had lower levels than countries that weren’t as affected. The study found that vitamin D may have an impact on COVID-19 deaths rates by suppressing the cytokine storm among COVID-19 patients. This study also shows that vitamin D boosts our immune systems and keeps them from becoming overactive. Research suggests that patients with high levels of vitamin D may be protected against serious complications like death from COVID-19.
According to a 2018 study published in British Medical Journal, vitamin D levels should not be lower than 25. Another study in Australia suggests that vitamin D levels should be between 50 and 100 to protect against respiratory viruses.
For my patients, I recommend that they have a vitamin D level at least 50. I recommend taking a daily vitamin supplement, specifically the Cooper Complete(r), Basic One. It contains 50mcg (2,000IU) of vitaminD3. This vitamin also contains 150 mg vitamin C and 15mg of zinc. All of these can help build up immunity.
7. Smoke-free environment
I advise against using any form of tobacco. You cannot safely smoke tobacco, and secondhand smoke can pose a threat to your immune system. This is particularly true during times of increased disease susceptibility. If you are in quarantine then you want to live in a smoke free environment.
8. Limit alcohol consumption
Consuming too much alcohol can cause a drop in immunity. In a major article entitled Alcohol Use and Burden for 195 Countries and Territories, 1990-2016: A systematic analysis for The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016, published in Lancet in 2019, a study titled “Alcohol use and burden for countries and territories, 1990–2016: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016” showed that men who drank two drinks per day (equal to 14 drinks per week) would live for one and a quarter to two years less. Because of the many health problems that alcohol consumption can cause, researchers recommend that men and women limit their drinking to one drink per day. To boost immunity health, I do not drink.
9. Manage stress
Manage your stress to improve your immunity. A study found that stress can increase the risk of getting a cold or other respiratory infection. This is due to an increase in cortisol levels, which are one of the stress response that lowers your immunity. Exercise at the end is a way to control stress. It helps me fall asleep at night and builds my immunity. Meditation and yoga are two other ways to reduce stress. In addition, the Relaxation Response by Dr. Herbert Benson offers methods to manage stress, including proper breathing. Social media use can cause stress and lower immunity.
10. Overall Conclusion On Immunity
Although I was in quarantine due to my age, and I have not been able see patients, I encourage my patients to follow these important guidelines. I am 89 years old and have been exercising two to three times a day. I also keep my weight under control. I’ve been in good health up until now and have never had symptoms or signs COVID-19.
It is crucial to take action now to increase your immunity and protect yourself from COVID-19 because there will always be another coronavirus. Furthermore, these recommendations can help you boost your immune system and protect you against the severe effects of COVID-19 and other acute diseases.
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