Stay Strong Against COVID-19
You know the Big 3 to protect yourself against COVID-19: Wear a mask. Wash your hands. Social distance.
Here are some additional tips to help your immune system and keep your physical protection strong:
Having the flu can make you more susceptible to other illnesses. Lung damage from the flu — and from COVID-19 — is a dangerous combination. You can still get a flu shot at Virtua Primary Care or a pharmacy.
A healthy diet helps you better manage diabetes and heart disease, risk factors for more serious symptoms with COVID-19.
Research shows vitamins C and D and zinc may help your immune system. Get Vitamin C in foods like citrus fruits and vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Vitamin D is in oily fish like salmon and herring, and in lean meat. Zinc is in nuts, whole grains, beans, oysters, and poultry/lean meat.
Using supplements? 1000 mg a day of vitamins C and D and 30 mg zinc may help support a healthy immune system—just don’t overload.
Water helps rid your body of bacteria, regulates digestion, and body temperature improves the flow of oxygen and concentration. It can even improve sleep (just stop drinking by 5 pm to prevent nighttime bathroom visits). Aim for 64 ounces/day and squeeze in lemon or lime for flavor.
Sitting too much is bad for your health and all you need to do is start walking and walk a little further each day. You don’t need a mask to walk outdoors in an uncrowded area, but if you do run into a friend, wave from a safe distance—at least 6 feet away.
Walking won’t stamp out COVID-19, but it can help keep you stronger and healthier. That includes your mental health. Walking can improve your mood and help relieve stress, which crushes your immune system.
Stress affects blood pressure, digestion, and over time can weaken our immune systems. Exercise, meditation, or prayer—even breaks from social media—can help reduce damaging stress. Your primary care clinician can also help.
Wash your hands often throughout the day and especially after every grocery shopping trip, mailbox pick-up, bathroom visit, and house cleaning.
Clean and sanitize high-touch surfaces daily: doorknobs, refrigerator handles, faucets, toilet handles, and remote controls.
Practice social distancing, even with family. Limit groups indoors to under 10 people, and don’t visit with anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19, or traveled to an area where cases are spiking.
Wear a mask around anyone who doesn’t live in your home, including extended family.
If you must have work done in your home, insist that service providers wear masks—and you should wear one while they’re inside the house, as well. Visit stores at “off-hours” and make a thorough list so you can limit trips.
For more advice, schedule an in-person or telehealth appointment with a Virtua Primary Care clinician today at 888-847-8823.