Possibly more than ever before we have all grown tired of seeing the inside of our houses. Being trapped inside through the Covid-19 pandemic has affected us all. Lots of us have noticed our mental health coming under pressure throughout the pandemic, but what about our physical health? With winter colds and other bugs flying around as we enter winter, how can we expect our bodies to respond?
Post-Covid Immune Response
As of 15th December, there have been over 10 million confirmed cases of covid-19 in the UK. It is highly likely that the true number of covid cases in the UK is much higher. Back in January, data analysts estimated that 1 in 5 people had had covid, so the proportion now could be much greater. With so many people having encountered the virus in the Covid-19 pandemic, lots of people will be wondering how their long-term health may have been impacted by it.
The long-term health impacts of covid-19 are yet to be fully understood. However, we do know that some people will take a few months to return to full fitness. During this time it is sensible to reduce your risk of exposure to other bugs. In England, face coverings are now required by law in most indoor public places and on public transport, including taxis. Not only do they protect your own health, but they also reduce transmission to others, protecting their health.
How Strong is My Immune System Now?
Over the past year and a half, most of us have come into contact with considerably fewer microorganisms in the outside world. Consequently, lots of us have had fewer coughs and colds, which has been great! Some people are concerned that this lack of stimulation of our immune systems may result in them becoming weaker. The good news is, this isn’t the case! Our immune systems don’t forget how to fight bugs they’ve experienced in the past.
However, lots of us have led lifestyles throughout the pandemic that differ to normality. For some of us this has included being less active and possibly eating a little less healthily than normal. The odd takeaway to experience some kind of normality has helped lots of people through the unprecedented times we’ve been through. As a result, our bodies may not be in peak condition. This can limit our ability to fight off bugs.
Additionally, good quality sleep is vital for supporting a healthy immune system. With routine hard to stick to in a stressful world, lots of people have struggled to sleep well. This is something we can all work to improve, through things like meditation and switching devices off an hour before bedtime.
How To Boost Your Immune System
The first hurdle to strengthen your immune system is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Your body and immune system function better when following healthy-living strategies such as these:
- Don’t smoke.
- Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise regularly & maintain a healthy weight
- If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
- Try to minimize stress.
- Keep current with all recommended vaccines. Vaccines prime your immune system to fight off infections before they take hold in your body.
While our immune systems may not be in peak condition due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this is unlikely to be as a direct result of covid. Fortunately, there are things we can all do to keep our immune system healthy – getting some exercise, eating healthily, and getting a good night’s sleep!