Good night’s sleep, home workouts, less fat intake and positivity boost immunity

A healthy immune system is the key to fight coronavirus and, for that matter, any other infection
Even in complete lockdown, one can look for online workouts that can be done in the confines of one’s home.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Even in complete lockdown, one can look for online workouts that can be done in the confines of one’s home.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Updated on Mar 26, 2020 07:55 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | By, Chandigarh

A healthy immune system is the key to fight coronavirus and, for that matter, any other infection. Since there is a 21-day lockdown in the country, people can still make the most of this period by taking measures to boost their immunity while staying within the confines of their homes. Even the basic staple diet, with good sleep, some indoor workouts and the most important positive approach is sufficient to make the body’s immune system stronger.

“In the current scenario one must work on boosting the immune system. It will save you from visiting the doctor to a large extent. Sleep, exercise and balanced diet play an important role in increasing the body’s immunity,” says Dr Shail Gupta, former chief medical officer, Panchkula. “Good sleep is must for natural immunity. One must sleep seven to eight hours and with proper timing of going to the bed. Vitamin C and D play a very important role in the immune system, so try to include more green vegetables and fruits in the diet. But in case because of lockdown you don’t have vegetables and fruits, go for pulses and cereals. And one can take Vitamin C tablets on daily basis and Vitamin D tablet once a week.”

REDUCE FAT AND SUGAR INTAKE

With the concerned authorities struggling to reach out everyone in the tri-city for daily supply of vegetables and fruits, one can look for alternatives for a balance diet.

“One should reduce the fried items from their daily diet and should limit the sugar intake. In absence of vegetables and fruits, one should look for alternatives that give you sufficient nutrition. One can depend on grains and cereals. Sprouting is a very good choice. The process of sprouting pulses adds Vitamin C in the sprouts and it helps to meeting the daily demand of vitamins to some extent,” says Sunita Malhotra, chief dietician, department of dietetics, PGIMER Chandigarh.

“A person with normal BMI (Body Mass Index) is more likely to have stronger immune system. So, especially for these three-week, one should focus on maintaining the body weight as per their respective BMI. One should avoid bulk eating and go for small portions — eat healthy and filling —after every two hours. This will also keep you engaged,” adds the chief dietician.

STAY-IN WORKOUT

Exercise is a vital element for a stronger immune system. In current constraints, where we are within the walls of our home for the entire day, one should look for alternatives for workout. Yoga, brisk walking within the rooms, jumping, steps can be good options.

“One should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. And in the lockdown one should do it religiously. Yoga can be a good option and for walking one can make a circuit going through one-two or more rooms. Enjoying a nature also boost to our immune system. It is not necessary that we have to step out to enjoy the nature. We can enjoy the nature by spending time in the balcony and even by watching sunrise,” says dentist RP Gupta.

BE POSITIVE

Positivity plays a very important role in making the immune system stronger. One should remain positive and remembering the happy moments can contribute in remaining positive for the entire period of lockdown.

“Health deals with physical and psychological aspects. So, if exercise, good sleep and balanced diet are important to cater the physical part, staying positive is important for psychological aspect. Dopamine and serotonin hormones are very important for the mental health and therefore it contributes in making the immune system stronger. These hormones are also known as the ‘happy hormones’, so more happy we will be, the more our body will produce these hormones,” says Dr Shail. “It is a tough time, but with positive approach we can make it a happy time.”

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Saurabh Duggal is based in Chandigarh and has over 15 years experience as sports journalist. He writes on Olympic Sports.

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