Category: HEALTH CARE

COVID-19 An opportunity to visualise and concern health issues

Anchal Agarwal

S.K.N. College of Agriculture, Jobner, Jaipur

 

Covid-19 is a member of corona virus family. Recently whole word is facing its consequences which has been produced willingly or unwillingly. To protect citizens worldwide every country has enforced lockdown. In this situation many of negative portions of society has starting giving their feedback i.e., why lockdown, for whom it is, we will’nt follow it any cost…..etc.etc and many other excuses. Left over that narrow minded people.

Just make a look at yourself. What is our responsibility not only toward nation but towards us, our family, our neighbors. A single STAY AT HOME

So we should stay at home, it is the most common sentence which is used by everyone but let us make a view towards it.In our mind it must arise that if we stay home what we should do that make us not only entertain but also keep us fit. So today I am sharing some little steps that will not only make your boring quarantine  creative but also make you healthy and fit by improving your immune system.

Ways to improve immune system

First of all we must promise our self  that all these steps we will follow without any excuses.

  • 1.As we all know that allopathic medicines show their effect immediately but all we know or not that what are its side effect so we cannot suggest anyone to take allopathic medicines before disease occurs  but their solution that is Ayurveda medicine all we know that it is the oldest medical record of India . In Ayurveda there are many examples which prove Ayurveda a boon to India. During the situation of covid-19 we should follow some Ayurveda rules take some Ayurvedic medicine this not only improve our immune system but also improve our Lifestyle likewise. We should take some medicine Sudarshan ghanvati, Giloy Ras,Amrita rist, Pancharishta, also some other herbal medicine. These all medicines don’t cause any side effect but boost our immunity, improve our heart system, cures chronic diseases and also in builds antibodies.
  • 2. Then by taking medicine we can improve our immune systems but if we want to make its responses earlier or provide it company which enhance its effect then I will prefer yoga.
  • There are many yogas like kapalbhathi, anulom vilom, audho mukh savasan, trikonasan, pranayama and many more.
  • 3.It is said one who eat well live well. So we should eat as much as nutritious food we can along with our some lovingly food.
  • There are many fruits like pomegranate, anole, grapes and our summer love-mango all these fruits including dry fruits like almond, apricot, cashewnut etc. all these supplies essential vitamins to our body which boost our immune system.
  • 4.We should stay positive as possible in every condition because positivity not only improves our thinking but also boost our immune system by improving nerve impulses.
  • 5.We should never take stress because stress is a key to lock of poor immunity. We should never worry on corona and any other related aspects.

So all these 5 steps not only improve our immune system but also create a positive surrounding.

So we should follow all these steps willingly and make other person to follow all these. This is only cost effective and feasible method which can make our BORING QUARANTINE interesting.

So STAY HOME STAY SAFE and fight corona not corona patients.

Stay Home Stay Safe

Mobani Biswas 

S.S. Khanna Girls’ Degree College

University of Allahabad

 

Ever got a chance to save the world? Well, many of us wouldn’t have. Watching superheroes on screen many would have wished to have superpowers like them well now it seems that you have a superpower which could help you save our society; for this all you have to do in stay indoors! Becoming a hero hasn’t been this easy ever, why not take up the opportunity and help save the lives of you and your family.
People always enjoy impromptu holidays from work and due to this pandemic; many of us got an impromptu holiday off as long as fifty-four days now!
I have heard people saying that if they had some free time they’d do this or that but always chicken out from doing those kinds of stuff because there is an excuse always ready at hand which says hello! I am busy!
Now what? As the days of lockdown are increasing the excuses are slowly vanishing. The bigger question now is what’s stopping you?
Why can’t we stay at home now and improve on ourselves, all the while saving us and society? Yes, it’s devastating what this pandemic has done to our lifestyle and life but these are the times when we need to have a positive attitude. Don’t think that you are stuck inside the house, think of it as you have been given the opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones. Think of this period as something that has given you a plethora of options to explore and improve yourself.
We were all running in a rat race when this pandemic brought the world to a grinding halt. When was the last time you took time out for something you once wrote in slam books as your passion or hobby? When was the last time you removed the dust settled on an old album and sat down to look through it? When was the last time you played any indoor game where the family participated? When was the last time you heard stories been shared among the family members and the roars of laughter that ensues? When was the last time you did all these things?
It’s been a while; It’s been quite a while when you have had so much free time. Make the most of it. Remember and bring the old hobbies back, learn and pursue something new, so that when all this is over, you come out better and stronger.

Explore while you stay at home. We live in the 21st century where there is no dearth of activities we can pursue to keep ourselves entertained. But all you need to do is to stay at home. I guess I realize where the problem is. We humans start to desire things we cannot get, earlier we did not get enough time to relax and unwind so we had a grudge regarding it, now when we have been asked to stay inside, people want to go out since that’s something they are unable to do.

The virus is our biggest challenge and enemy right now but the problem is that we cannot see it with our naked eye. If we could, maybe we could have avoided it while being outside but that’s not the case and that’s why we ended up living and staying behind closed doors. Behind that closed door, you are keeping yourself and your family members safe from harm. We can say it’s not our time with the virus raging in full force across the world but our time will come and scientists and doctors are working day and night towards it. Our time will come, as we wait with bated breaths for the vaccine against this virus to emerge, but till that time it’s better to stay safe than be sorry.

We all must have heard the adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’; you won’t get a greater time to show that you understand this saying and believe in it because the only way to prevent the spread of this virus is to break its chain of spreading and that’s only possible through social distancing and for social distancing to be a success we need to stay in our homes as much as is possible.

It’s easier to blame others for their mistakes and faults but it’s very difficult to take the blame. No one can be happy knowing that he is the reason that his family is suffering, so why leave it to chance? If we keep indoors, we keep our family safe and indirectly contribute to the safety of our society and country. We are accountable for our actions but we should not let our family members or our society pay the price for our doings. It’s time to become a little bit responsible and all that falls under the responsibility criteria is to stay indoors. Stay indoors and stay safe, stay at home to break the chain.

Stay Home, Stay Safe

Jigmet Yangchan
Govt College of Engineering and Technology, Jammu

As we all are well aware about the disease called coronavirus commonly known as COVID-19 which cause illness in the respiratory system in the humans.
It is the new virus that is impacting the whole world badly.so as to minimise or to eradicate the no of COVID-19 case the best way that each of us can do for our side is to stay at home, because this virus is spreading primarily through contact with the person.when an infected person meets with another person then they touches their nose,eyes,and mouth the virus can be spread.
I humbly request all my citizens to please cooperate with government official because they all are sacrificing their life for the nation.
At last i would like to conclude my topic by saying “ in unity , we can stand”.
Hope everyone of us act as a responsible citizen to eradicate this epidemic.
Once again
Stay Home, Stay Safe!

Stay inside, Stay fit and healthy

Jyoti Pal
National P.G College, Lucknow

The novel corona virus pandemic known as Covid-19, could not have been more predictable as the world is suffering a lot nowadays due to the very infectious and untreatable disease Covid-19, is gripping us day by day. The infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS COV-2). The disease was first found in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei China and now it spread globally.
Do not panic, while the outbreak is a serious public health concern, the majority of those who contract the coronavirus do not became seriously ill and only a small percentage require intensive care. By few basic steps one can reduce the risk and do your part to protect others.
• Keep your hands clean and sanitized and maintain the distance from sick people.
• Use of masks and gloves.
• Practise Yoga and meditation regularly.
• Avoid going out of your home. Eat healthy and fresh prepared food.
• Spend good time with the family by cooking together, eating together, cleaning and playing together.

At last, it’s all about you and your time don’t waste it in criticising the lockdown, just utilize it to overcome the criticism of your life.
It’s the time to prevail with your beautiful home with loving family for which we were working from so long!!!
STAY IN, STAY FIT EAT HEALTHY STAY IMMUNED

22 Ways to Make a Living at Home Covid-19 Adjustments Website De

Stay home, Stay safe!

Kajal Rawat
HNB Garhwal University

Now a days everyone is afraid of that they are going to get sick, There are few things we should all know and few things we should all do.first of all we have to know what is Corona virus and how it affects the human body.it is important to know before fighting the enemy.corona virus is transmissible disease like seasonal flu and closer to commen flue,it normally get spread to thousand of people. The symptoms of Corona are mild to moderate fever,respiratory illness and sore throat. According to the WHO report virus is more dangerous for old age people and those with underlying disease,like diabetes , chronic and respiratory disease. Coronavirus get quickly transmit , the particle of Coronavirus get stuck in nasal pipe and go down to respiratory track.when people do go out and likely to spew ,when people breathe and sing they usually spread the virus.The virus can also be spread from sneeze or cough droplets, so it’s very easy to be infected.Hence cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and maintain a distance from a person who is sneezing or coughing.
During this Coronavirus outbreak our government plays an important role by taking a few steps to take care of the nation and active workers, the government advises the citizens to stay at home.Some citizens strictly follow the rule.Being a responsible citizen almost every person stays in their houses . During this quarantine our government has arranged all the facilities that we required. ATMs are working ,all the grocery shops are open at least 2 to 4 hours a day.The main motive behind this act is to stop the spreading of virus person to person. The government is doing a great job for saving our lives.The announcement of lockdown , cancellation of flights are the great action to stop the coronavirus. In this critical situation they make an announcement to be calm and stay together , these all steps needed a great salute. The government wants to be aware of every situation about this pandemic and that’s why they make an app called ‘arogya setu’ include all the information about the corona and directly connect with the government. The government has already prepared 50,000 + isolation wards now to understand the seriousness about this pandemic.


Health workers are the real heroes of actual life. We have seen many pictures of superheroes but in actual life the doctors and nurses, their dedication towards their work makes them real hero.They constantly treat the infected people risking their life. We have to salute them because this is the one such heartbreaking job which involves the high risk.The nurses and doctors who serve their job, wearing that mask for treating patients,only knows how hard it is.where most of the person remain indoors doing there work from home,there are certain warrior who doing their job at high risk.They know there life at risk yet they put their job at first. There are lots of doctors who lost their life while curing their patient. There were so many doctors who saved the Corona patients till their deaths.Not only the doctors but the government volunteer , spraying disinfectants all over the contaminated areas are also great warriors, without a single hesitation and fear they are doing their duties. The government has also provided helpline numbers, if you have a fever or cough and any difficulty ,seek medical attention ,call in advance.


All we need to do is –
● Coperate with government and health workers for their relentless efforts.
● Remain indoors and have a hygienic surrounding
● Motivate each other
● Help and donate
● Be responsible
● Drink lots of water
● During this quarantine improve your immune system
● Avoid going outside as much as possible.
● Follow the directions of your local health authority

We should follow the orders of the government and to ensure that people around us also follow that, don’t panic and don’t infect others, travel minimum until the situation gets better.stay home save lives.

How to improve your immune system?

Kashish Ansari
Shri Guru Nanak Girls’ Degree College, Lucknow

Before starting this topic we have to understand what is immune system and how its help in fighting against current pandemic situation ..so let start..

Immune system

Immune system is the body’s defense against infection and illness .. when your immune system is strong . You have better chance of fighting against virus , infection and illness..

How immune system protect against virus

A central player in the fight against the novel coronavirus is our immune system. It protects us against the invader and can even be helpful for its therapy. But sometimes it can turn against us.

We all know that Corona virus is an ongoing pandemic of COVID -19 , caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome COV-2 . There are many type of corona viruses but COVID -19 among all causes serious illness , COVID -19 start with droplets from an infected person cough, sneeze, or breathe ,and within 14 days your immune system will respond with early symptoms like sore throat, fever and dry cough .some people are more at risk of severe complications than others specially, old adults and person having heart , lungs diseases and aesthamatic persons…. This fatal disease start from WUHAN , city of China .. and now spreading all over the world . Countries like USA, Italy, Spain are highly affected from this disease.
At present , there is no specific medicine or vaccine to prevent or treat COVID -19. Until a vaccine is available, our immune systems will need to adapt unaided to COVID-19. Our immune systems must adapt unaided to this potentially deadly threat. Only you and your immune system protect yourself…

How to boost your immune system?

A healthy lifestyle – not smoking, drinking little or no alcohol, sleeping well, eating a balanced diet, taking regular moderate exercise and reducing stress helps our immune systems to be in the best shape possible to tackle pathogens.

Some healthy ways to improve your immune system are as follows :-
1. Don’t Smoke .
2. Eat healthy diet .
3. Don’t Drink ..
4. Do regular exercise (outdoor, when possible)
5. Maintain healthy weight..
6. Include fruits in your diet …
7. Include Vitamin C in your diet ..
8. Wash your hand frequently after cooking meat ..
9. Do Yoga on regular basis .
10. Include Turmeric , Ginger , Spinach , Berry , egg in your diet ..
11. Reduce stress or keep stress under control.
12. Keep symptoms of chronic under control ..
13. Get plenty of Good Quality sleep..Better sleep heals your body and make your immune system strong ..

Boost your immunity to fight corona

Manish Kumar
Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences, Allahabad

On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails.
A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.
But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.
A healthy immune system can defeat invading pathogens as shown above, where two bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are no match for the large phagocyte, called a neutrophil, that engulfs and kills them.
Your first line of defence is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies.
Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body immune cells or others is not necessarily a good thing.
Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways.
Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.
As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.
While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T-cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.
A reduction in immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people’s response to vaccines. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is less effective compared to healthy children. But despite the reduction in efficacy, vaccinations for influenza and Pneumonia have significantly lowered the rates of sickness and death in older people when compared with no vaccination.
There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as micronutrient malnutrition. Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can happen in the elderly. Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Older people should discuss this question with their doctor.
Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition’s effect on the immune system, however, is not certain. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans.
There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies – for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube. However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed.
If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs maybe, for instance, you don’t like vegetables taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Taking mega doses of a single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.
Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship of mind and body. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function. Despite these inevitable difficulties in measuring the relationship of stress to immunity, scientists are making progress.

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Handling emotions during Lockdown

Anshuman Singh Sajwan
Swami Ram Teerth Campus Badshaitahul

Lockdown is meant to prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, to protect ourselves and others. This means, not stepping out of the house except for buying necessities, reducing the number of trips outside, and ideally only a single, healthy family member making the trips when absolutely necessary. Here are some suggestions

Focus on facts, reject rumours and theories

1.Knowledge is power; the more we know about a certain issue, the less fearful we mayfeel. Make sure to access and believe only the most reliable sources of information forself-protection.
2.Do not follow sensational news or social media posts which may impact your mentalstate. Do not spread or share any unverified news or information further.
3.Do not keep discussing all the time about who got sick and how. Instead learn aboutwho got well and recovered.
4.Stick to the known advice- hand hygiene and keeping a physical distance from others. It’s being careful about ourself, and also about care of others.
5.A common cold is not Corona infection. The symptoms of Corona have been welldescribed. Follow etiquette of sneezing, coughing, avoiding spitting in public places etc.
6. In most people, the Corona infection causes mild symptoms and the person only needs to follow social distancing till he/she stops being infective, usually 2 weeks. Mild infection does not require a person to be admitted in hospital. Only people who have breathing difficulties need to be in hospital. Most people recover.

Handling emotional problems

Handling emotional problems
1. At times of anxiety, practice breathing slowly for a few minutes. Try and distance the thoughts that are making us anxious. Think of something calm and serene, and slow down our mind.
2. When feeling angry and irritated, we must calm our mind, counting back from 10 to 1, distracting yourself helps.
3. Even when feeling afraid, deal with it by asking ourself:
    a. What is under my control?
    b. Am I unnecessarily worrying about the worst thing that can happen?
    c. When I have been stressed in the past, how have I managed?
    d. What are the things I can do to help myself and be positive?
4. Feeling lonely or sad is also quite common. Stay connected with others. Communication can help you to connect with family and friends. Call up people whom you haven’t spoken to and surprise them. Discuss happy events, common interests, exchange cooking tips, share music.

Don’t be afraid or worried

Suggestions to help us from feeling afraid or worried:
1. Walk through your house when first get home. Check to be sure
everything looks normal.
2. Look in all the places that scar us like when it gets dark, like behind doors and in closets.
3. Be aware of strange noises. Strange noises often can cause us to worry.
If any of these emotions persist continuously for several days, despite our trying to get out of it, talk about it with someone. If the feelings worsen, a person may feel helpless, hopeless and feel that life is not worth living. If that happens, take an advice from a mental health professional or contact a doctor / mental health professional .

NOT advisable

1. Avoid tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Use of tobacco or alcohol or other drugs to cope with emotions or boredom can worsen physical, mental health and reduce immunity. People who already have a substance use problem may require professional help, especially when they feel low in mood or stressed.
2. Do not shun or judge people with a CoVid infection. While to maintain a physical distance and keep ourself safe to prevent such infection, remember they need care and concern. If we know someone who might have the infection, tell them about precautions, and how to get medical assistance, if required.
3. If it happen to get infected with Corona, remember most people get better. Do not panic. Practice self-isolation and take medications that are advised .

Handling Social isolation

 

Quarantine is a group of peoples who don’t have symptoms but are exposed to sickness. Quarantine keeps people away from other’s contact. It is used during :
1 pandemic
2 epidemic
3 out break
Isolation serves the same purpose as quarantine, it’s reserved for those who are already sick. It keeps infected people away from healthy people to prevent the sickness from spreading.

Staying at home can be quite nice for some time, but can also be boring and restricting. Here are some ways to keep positive and cheerful.
1.Be busy. Have a regular schedule. Help in doing some of the work at home.
2.Distract yourself from negative emotions by listening to music, reading, watching an entertaining programme on television. If we had old hobbies like painting, gardening or stitching, go back to them. Rediscover them.
3.Eat well and drink plenty of fluids.
4.Be physically active. Do simple indoor exercises that will keep you fit and feeling fit.
5.Sharing is caring. Understand if someone around us needs advice, food or other essentials. Be willing to share.
6.Elderly people may feel confused, lost and need help. Offer them help by getting them what they need, their medicines, daily needs etc.
7.If you have children at home, keep them busy by allowing them to help in the house hold chores – make them feel responsible and acquire new skills.

Just as we can recognise our own mental health problems, we should be sensitive to such problems in our near and dear ones, which may include:
1. Changes in sleep patterns
2. Difficulty in sleeping and concentrating
3. Worsening of health problems etc.

Improve your immune system naturally

Ashwani
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University

In this epidemic situation of Corona virus (covid-19), we must stay at our home but most importantly we need to build our immune system stronger. Our immune system does a Remarkable job of defending you against disease – Causing microorganisms. But sometime it fails, make you sick. To build our Immune system stronger to fight against covid-19, we must use natural ways to boost to build our immune system.

Natural ways to Boost Your immune system

Exercise – It is beneficial to your mood, cardiovascular health, exercising lowers your cholesterol level and make proper functioning of antibody response to infection. Moderate exercise helps you to keep fit and Boost your immune system.

Sleep – the secret to keep your immune system to its peak is to getting proper sleep. In studies like, Beselov – sky, lange (2012) found that sleep deprivation and sleep wake – cycle disruption can activate the inflammatory immune response, which cause cortisol (the stress hormone) close levels to rise, and T – cell levels to fall, hindering your body’s ability to find of infections.
So, keep your immune system boosted by getting enough sleep.

Gargle with salt water – After coming home from outside gargle your throat by mixing half a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounce of warm water and gargle it for 10 seconds twice a day. It keeps cold and flu at bay and flush out any bacteria in your mouth or throat.

Covid-19 guidelines 

1. Don’t smoke
2. Eat a diet high in Fruit and Vegetables
3. Try to minimize stress
4. Get adequate sleep
5. Maintain healthy weight
6. Exercise regularly cover your mouth
7. While going outside sanitize or wash your hand with soap for at least one minute when you reach home.

Boosting your immunity is quite important in order to fight against covid-19. This Article has stated several ways and described various important information to fight against this epidemic situation.

Improve your immune system

Ayushi Pandey
IILM Academy of Higher Learning, Lucknow

How can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.

But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand.

Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by 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.

Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.

As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.

While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.

A reduction in immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people’s response to vaccines. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is less effective compared to healthy children (over age 2). But despite the reduction in efficacy, vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia have significantly lowered the rates of sickness and death in older people when compared with no vaccination.

There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as “micronutrient malnutrition.” Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can happen in the elderly. Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets.

Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. Demonstrating whether an herb — or any substance, for that matter — can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity.

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.