Now, more than ever before, health has become a crucial factor to consider in your daily routine. The current unprecedented global coronavirus pandemic is raising our awareness about the importance of the human immune system in fighting off unwanted microbes. We have gathered a few points that can help to keep you safer and healthier in these critical circumstances.
1. Wash and sanitise your hands frequently.
Washing your hands is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Washing your hands is easy, and it’s one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs throughout your community - from your home and workplace to schools and hospitals. For more information on how to wash your hands properly, visit www.bag.admin.ch.
2. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains.
Eating healthy can help you have more energy, loose excess weight and prevent many diseases. Already small changes in your diet can make a big difference to your health. Increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains in your daily diet, and removing any sorts of highly processed and sugary foods will make you feel better and stronger in no time. Read more about keeping your diet balanced in our Eat Right Guidelines.
3. Get at least 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week.
Exercise strengthens your heart and improves your circulation. The increased blood flow raises the oxygen levels in your body. This helps lower your blood pressure and reduce your risk of heart diseases. Other than that, it can make you feel energised and happy through the release of endorphins and helps you sleep better, which we come to next.
4. Get enough sleep.
Sleepless nights can ruin your day and your immune system, especially if they happen often. Sleep is critical to overall health. Long-term sleep deprivation causes heart disease, obesity and depression.
Tip: Two hours before you want to fall asleep, put all the screens away and focus on relaxing activities, like reading and spending time with loved ones.
Mindfulness meditation can have benefits for health and performance, including improved immune function, reduced blood pressure and enhanced cognitive function. Meditating frequently can improve focus and reduce anxiety. Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life. Especially in uncertain times with an unpredictable future, such a mindset can help greatly to stay calm and pragmatic.
6. Drink a lot of water.
Increasing your water intake can make your body process more efficiently, which is highly important for the immune system. Water promotes the adaptive immune response by flushing out toxic foreign invaders from the body through the kidneys. Drinking water can also improve cognitive function, which can make you more aware of your behaviour, potentially leading to healthier and safer decisions.
7. Avoid smoking and keep alcohol consumption to a minimum.
Smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol harm the immune system and can make the body less successful at fighting disease. Alcohol in particular makes white blood cells less effective at fighting off bad microbes. Quitting smoking and drinking improves circulation, increases oxygen levels, and lowers inflammation — all of which give your immune system a boost, so it's easier to fight off colds and other illnesses.
It goes without saying, please always follow the advice of your local authorities first. For the most up-to-date news and information in Switzerland about the coronavirus pandemic, visit www.bag.admin.ch.
In summary, your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Stay well everybody!