Here in the United States, especially the Midwest states, we are seeing sky-high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Most of us know of someone personally who has tested positive or even died because of the effects of this virus. This virus attacks people of all ages, races, and levels of health, and luckily, a great majority of the people who test positive will recover, although there may be some long lasting after-effects.
One reason that the numbers are so high is because this is an airborne virus, which makes it difficult to see and know if and when exactly you've been exposed, whether or not you've been wearing a mask. Because many people are asymptomatic carriers and the virus has a few day incubation period, others may be exposed for several days before someone exhibits symptoms and goes for testing, then it may take a few days to find out results of the test, all the while, the virus is floating along in the air affecting more and more people. As time goes on, the virus keeps spreading despite our best efforts to practice social distancing, wash our hands, minimize contacts, and wear masks.
Supplement for Better Health
The best things we can do at this time are to try to boost our immunity in any way that we can! Certain Vitamins and Supplements have been recommended for their powerful immune boosting properties, such as Vitamin C, Zinc, and Vitamin D. Unfortunately, Midwesterners are known for having lower Vitamin D levels as the sun exposure is typically less in the colder months, although it has been very sunny this year so far, thankfully!! Foods containing these vitamins are helpful, but actually supplementing with these is important since we can't get enough of the daily recommendations from food alone.
Minimizing Inflammation is imperative at this time. The COVID-19 Virus sets off a severe inflammatory response in the body. If your levels of inflammation are already high, from poor diet, high stress levels, inactivity, or unresolved injuries, this puts you at risk for even more severe symptoms if you do contact this or any other virus. Check out the previous blog "Best Baby Boomer Immune Boosters" for a list of anti-inflammatory foods, as well as other suggestions to minimize negative health risks. Taking deep nasal breaths and practicing stress-management techniques can also be helpful to minimize inflammation. Being sure to find resolution for long-lasting injuries will help your body work more efficiently and in a better balanced way to reduce joint specific inflammation, which ultimately affects your overall health and vitality.
Focus On Gut Health
Many people don't recognize the connection between good gut health and digestion to our immune health. If your body and organs are busy trying to digest unhealthy or non-nutrient dense foods, this takes energy away from building your immunity. Also, more inflammation can be caused by not being able to break down certain foods in your gut. The "gut" starts in our mouth, by the way. Chewing each bite of food for at least 20 seconds will break down the food particles into smaller, more manageable size. In addition, the chewing process allows the good bacteria in our mouths to start to digest the food. I listened to a podcast episode where the Doctor being interviewed suggested this, and also suggested that we NOT use Antiseptic Mouthwashes, as these not only kill the bad bacteria in our mouths, but they also kill the GOOD bacteria needed for digestion. He also said that taking Anti-acids (Tums, Pepsid, etc) are doing further damage to our digestion as they further reduce the (often already reduced) levels of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which digests our food. Taking Digestive Enzymes and Probiotics will both help the body to break down and digest food, ultimately making our digestive and immune health improve.
Our heart muscle pumps the blood the Circulatory System throughout our entire body. The Lymphatic System, part of our Immune system which pumps waste products OUT of our body, does not have it's own pump mechanism built in. Instead, the Lymphatic System relies on the contraction of our muscles to pump the waste materials throughout and OUT of our body. Regular exercise and daily movement are both imperative for a fully functioning immune system, which is not usually the first thing people think of when it comes to the benefits of exercise. There are many lymphatic ducts in the neck, shoulders, armpits, and hips. So many of my clients experience pain and dysfunction in these joints, but when we treat those areas, not only are the muscles able to move and support their joints better, but their immune health is also boosted! Staying active, mobile and flexible will give your body the best fighting chance to overcome any illness that comes your way!
Let me know if you have any questions. I'd love to help support you during this Pandemic in any way that I possibly can! Stay healthy, keep moving, and take care of yourself and each other.