How to Increase Immunity during a Pandemic
Immunity or often called endurance, is the immune system designed to detect or destroy foreign objects that enter the body such as bacteria or viruses. It is important to maintain the immune system to keep the body healthy. The current pandemic period requires us to always increase our immunity so we are not easily exposed to diseases, especially Covid-19. The Body's Immune System is the Best Virus Medicine.
There are many ways we can do to increase immunity, namely by adopting a healthy lifestyle of course. Here are some ways that we can do to increase immunity.
1. Exercise regularly
On the Alodokter website, it is explained that regularly exercising for 30 minutes every day or at least 3-5 times a week can make our bodies healthier. Choose sports that are easy to do and according to our abilities during the pandemic such as walking, jogging, cycling. According to nutritionist Lenny Jusup (2010), the recommended exercise is in the morning sun while breathing fresh air. If you want to avoid crowds, you can exercise at home.
2. Eat nutritious food
Our immune system requires a regular, varied and balanced intake of nutrients. Based on Alodokter's website, prioritize foods that contain protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Foods that we can consume are fruit, vegetables, fish, eggs, milk, meat, seeds and nuts. According to Toto Sudargo, a nutritionist at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), limiting sugar, salt and fat according to the recommendations is also important to increase immunity.
3. Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep every day is as important as eating nutritious foods. Lack of sleep can lower immunity and make the body susceptible to disease. Quoted from the Alodokter website, adults generally need 7-9 hours of sleep a day, while children and teens need 8-10 hours of sleep a day.
4. Manage stress
According to nutritionist Lenny Jusup (2010), stress is a source of disease. Stress that is left unchecked can cause physiological changes that can weaken a person's immune system. Manage stress levels by knowing what things or actions can put you in a positive mood.
One of the nutrients needed to increase immunity is vitamin D. Quoted from the Alodokter website, the results of the study state that sunlight can trigger the production of vitamin D. Therefore, sunbathe at least 3 times a week for 10-15 minutes, at 08.00-10.00 am .
6. Maintain food hygiene
Food hygiene needs to be considered starting from the cleaning process, manufacturing, including eating utensils and drinking water to support body resistance and health (Lenny Jusup, 2010).
7. Consumption of warm foods and foods that contain lots of water
Warm foods can increase immunity and repair the mucous membranes that line the walls of the respiratory tract. On the other hand, cold food and drinks will stimulate mucus secretion and can affect the respiratory system and reduce immunity (Lenny Jusup, 2010).
8. Maintain personal and environmental hygiene
In the lifebuoy.co.id website, maintaining personal hygiene means being diligent in cleaning yourself such as bathing, brushing teeth, washing hair, washing hands, and changing clothes. The risk of transmitting disease from other people, either through direct or indirect contact, can be reduced by maintaining personal hygiene. On the website of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, it is explained that exposure to microorganisms in the living environment helps shape the pattern of immune response development which is thought to affect susceptibility to infectious and metabolic diseases. Keep the living environment clean to reduce the risk of exposure to germs that cause infection.
Citing the UGM Faculty of Pharmacy website (2020), several factors that can affect a person's immunity are:
Environmental factors play a very important role in the development of components of the immune system, especially components that are responsible for the body's defense in the long term. The ability of environmental factors to eliminate this is more specific and lasts longer.
Daily food is the most important component that makes us who we are. Foods that are rich in fat and sugar tend to stress our immune system, making it easy to damage and initiate disease.
Age is very influential on the ability of the immune system. Immune cells are at their peak activity when the individual is an adult. The older the age of these cells will decrease their activity, including in producing proteins that function to fight viral infections.
4. Health conditions
People who have the disease are more susceptible to attack by viral infections. Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and inflammation of the liver can increase susceptibility to infection.
5. Consumption of drugs
Some classes of drugs such as corticosteroids can reduce the ability of our immune system to defend itself. The use of these drugs in the long term is very likely to lower our immunity.