Boosting Your Immune System

Are you worried about your immune system in the new normal?

Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist at Pharmacy2U comments:

“With peoples’ lives getting back to this ‘new’ normal, people are understandably cautious about crowded areas, with the risk of catching the virus still very much apparent.

However, there are some key things you can do to boost your immune system, making your body more likely to fight off viruses.

Get enough sleep – poor quality sleep is linked with a higher susceptibility to lots of illnesses; adequate rest strengthens your natural immunity.

Adults should aim for 8 hours of sleep per night, with teenagers needing an hour more.

Find ways to reduce stress – when you are stressed, your body releases a hormone called cortisol to prepare you for “fight or flight”.

But over time, excessive levels of cortisol will lead to an increase in inflammation in the body, which in turn impairs your immune system, reducing its ability to fight infections.

Ensure you’re getting enough vitamin D – vitamin D is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles thanks to its ability to influence the amount of calcium in our bodies.

A lack of vitamin D could lead to complications with the immune system, which could worsen the effects of the virus if you do get sick.

Most of our vitamin D comes from our diet, and exposure to the sun during the warmer months.

However, there are other sources of vitamin D.

Supplements containing vitamin D are widely available from your local or online pharmacy, or supermarket.

Eat more fruit and veg – fresh fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, which are essential for keeping your immune system as healthy as possible. Get your 5 a day!

Take moderate exercise – this can reduce inflammation in the body and promotes the healthy turnover of immune cells, as well as boosting the effectiveness of vaccines in people with compromised immune systems.

Exercises such as jogging, cycling and swimming are excellent for this – even a daily walk is really good for you.”