Dear WELL Community,
As the nation fears COVID-19 and we here in Chicago prepare to gear up for an expected surge in cases in the next few weeks, I encourage you — and all of us to do our best to stay calm.
While it’s necessary to follow social distancing recommendations (stay home please!), you’ve taken steps to be proactive with your health. With your interest in functional and integrative medicine and in overall wellness, you’ve laid the foundation to support a healthy immune system.
Here’s what we know and a few reminders that will help you and your family stay healthy.
As you know, this is a new virus. This means that no one has immunity to it. Does that mean that every person will get seriously ill? Absolutely not. In fact, many will have a very mild symptoms or won’t even know that they’ve been infected with the virus.
Two things have to happen for you to get sick:
- You must be exposed.
- You have to be susceptible.
I think we all know the drill for how to minimize #1. Let’s focus on minimizing #2, our susceptibility, by taking proactive steps now and in the future to support our overall health and immunity. A healthy immune system can react quickly and help us fight off COVID-19 now and other illnesses and health challenges that will likely cross our paths in the days ahead.
What can you start doing today to support your immune system?
- Continue to make healthy food choices
If you’re having trouble finding fresh and organic produce, substituting with frozen is encouraged. Remember, frozen produce was allowed to ripen on the vine longer so may actually be more nutrient-dense than fresh — unless it’s locally grown and in season. You can also buy your greens for smoothies in larger quantities than normal and freeze what you won’t use within 5 days. Fresh, nutrient-rich foods like peppers can be sliced and frozen.
If you’re having trouble controlling your food cravings and find yourself making poor choices, try writing in a food journal. Record how you felt before you ate, how you felt after and in a few days, assess. You may discover that you make poor choices in times of stress, something we can all experience at times. Instead of turning to food, try meditating, drinking a glass of water or doing some kind of physical activity.
- Remember to hydrate
Your immune system is better equipped to respond to outside threats if you’re well hydrated. Drink water.
- Maintain a healthy sleep schedule
A total of 7-9 hours is recommended. Avoid electronic devices for at least one hour prior to bed. Wear blue-light blocking glasses in the evening.
- Go outside!
You’re practicing social distancing but going for a walk around your neighborhood is encouraged. You need vitamin D from sunshine and you need exercise and fresh air! Being outside will also help to decrease stress levels.
- Minimize stress
Don’t sit around and watch the news. It will only increase your stress and your body is listening to you. If you are stressed and anxious all the time, your body will be more susceptible to illness.
Many of you are experiencing interrupted routines. Don’t let this keep you from getting physical activity. Even if you’re working from home, get up, walk around and work out. Increasing your heart rate spikes your body temperature and increases your blood flow, both of which help to strengthen your immune system. If you’ve been attending group exercise classes and/or going to a gym, try doing free online workouts. You can also do simple things like marching in place during conference calls, doing 25 squats once an hour or walking up and down the stairs ten times 2-3 times per day. Even if you are stuck in your house, try to get as much activity as possible.
- Continue taking supplements that help to bolster your immune system
If you’d like help adjusting your supplements or adding some additional immune support, please contact the office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will take care of you. We can recommend a super immune boosting care package just for you!
In case you missed our webinar last week, please join us this Thursday, April 9th at 1pm CST for my second webinar on building health and immunity. And remember, this isn’t a time to panic or hoard toilet paper (this virus rarely causes gastrointestinal issues!). However, it’s a perfect time to invest in your health. Together, we’ll get through this.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Weiler and the WELL Team