Our health and wellbeing is a top priority right now. Rarely has the threat of disease occupied so much of our thinking. Television, radio and newspapers are filled with information about the coronavirus pandemic. We’re all concerned and worried about our well-being and want to protect ourselves against the virus and stay healthy.
So, how do we do that? How do we stay healthy and protect ourselves against Covid-19? Is there anything more we can do, in addition to following the good advice we’re getting from our government and health professionals?
Well, I’ve contacted Dr. Hans Diehl, a Lifestyle Medicine specialist. He emphasised the importance of boosting our immune system to give it a fighting chance against the virus. Dr Hans Diehl has made 8 simple recommendations under the acronym NEWSTART as part of a Lifestyle Medicine approach to strengthening our immune systems. So, let’s have a look at them. But first, a quick reminder of the important advice from our health professionals.
Their advice is clear and simple.
Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water.
Avoid touching your face
Avoid close contact with people. Keep at least 1.5 metres away and follow other Government guidelines as released.
Stay home and self-isolate if possible.
Cover your coughs and sneezes.
And now onto to Dr. Hans Diehl’s 8 Newstart recommendations for keeping our immune system healthy and balanced:
Nutrition. Move as far toward a whole-food, plant-based diet as you can. Eat lots of green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, and kale. Eat plenty of fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and cranberries. Enjoy high fiber foods, such as whole grains, beans, lentils and fruit. Eliminate or reduce animal products, along with sugar and fat.
Exercise. Exercise daily, aiming for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity. Make sure you work up some sweat. This virus has the highest impact on people’s hearts and lungs. Exercise improves the health of body, mind, and spirit multiplying vitality and health.
Water. Plenty of it. At least 8 glasses of water every day would be good. Because the body is 70% water, keeping well hydrated is essential to good health. We need plenty of hydration, plenty of fluids and that includes hot soups and broths. They are high in electrolytes and are also a natural decongestant clearing sinuses of mucus.
Sunshine. Where possible spend time outdoors. Sunlight is supremely important for the bodies’ metabolism and hormonal balance.
Temperate. Be balanced and moderate, don’t fall for extremes in diet or lifestyle. Learn how to handle stress, especially right now. Here are some ideas to reduce stress: Seek support of friends and family. Talk to your friends and family, on the phone or internet.
Air. The body’s most essential resource is air. Fresh air is very important. Try to spend some time outdoors every day. And at night, try to sleep with open windows if possible. Do some deep breathing exercises to keep your lungs in good shape. And avoid bad air – and that includes tobacco smoke and vaping.
Rest. Rest and sleep are critical for maintaining a strong immune system to fight the virus. Aim to get around 8 hours sleep every night. This helps to de-stress your body; try to become more regular in the times that you go to bed and when you rise. And avoid TV or screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime.
Trust. Trust in your friends, and trust in God. It’s a time for building and strengthening relationships. Invest time in those important relationships with your family and friends. This is also a time for reflection – reflecting on the meaning and purpose of your life. Reflecting on good things that have happened, can bring you joy. Smile and laugh often and express gratitude when you can. Your immune system will thank you.
And now, let’s review – NEWSTART. N stands for good nutrition. E stands for daily Exercise. W stands for plenty of water. S stands for sunlight, enjoy the outdoors where you can. T stands for Temperate – being balanced and moderate. A stands for fresh Air. R stands for rest. And T stands for trust.
Thank you Dr.Diehl for sharing this valuable information with us. Remember, God wants us to enjoy good health and live life to the full. So, in conclusion let me echo the prayer of the apostle John: “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well”. (3 John 1:2)
If you’d like to know more about God’s plan for good health, then I’d like to recommend our free Bible Reading guide, The Secret of a Healthy Lifestyle.