All information within this post if for educational purposes only and should not be seen as a substitute for proper medical advice, for more information on protecting yourself during the COVID-19 Epidemic please consult the official World Health Organisation guidelines, Here.
Humans are a social creature, isolation isn’t natural to us
We, humans, are social beings and we can’t deny this fact. We and our health thrive in collaborative social networks. Distancing from people can have serious repercussions for our health. In a review study, ‘Health Effects of Social Isolation and Loneliness’ published in Journal of Aging Life Care; the author has noted that the impact of isolation and loneliness on health and mortality are of the same magnitude as such risk factors as high blood pressure, obesity, and smoking.
Just like its impact on general health and mortality, isolation whether self or forced-like in the current pandemic, both interrupt the normal functioning of our immune system and therefore negatively affect our immunity.
Staying inside’s Effects on Immunity
Generally speaking, staying inside or self-isolation weakens our immunity. There are several factors involved which cumulatively interrupt the smooth functioning of our immunity. Some of the prominent factors which weaken our immune systems when we stay inside our homes are;
A brief rundown of the effects of isolation
Psychological Stress takes it’s toll on the immune system:
The psychological stress has been scientifically proven for its bad impact on the human immune system.
Although this effect varies from population to population and it also differs for different age-groups within the same population-stress has a prominent impact on the immunity of elderly and children as compared to younger segments of the population however it definitely impacts immune functions.
During stress, a hormone known as corticosteroid (stress hormone) is released which lowers the number of lymphocytes-critical parts of the human immune system- and thus the ability of the immune system to fight off infections and pathogens is reduced.
In irritable bowel syndrome, persistent stress has magnified gastrointestinal symptoms.
Chronic stress may also develop autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Celiac disease. So you may now be able to see that to what extent psychological stress in social isolation can devastate your immune system.
Lack of Exercise is never a good thing:
In confining yourself to home, there are chances that you may not pay heed to daily exercise. Physical activity can have a profound impact on our immune responses. For instance, moderate work out is found productive in lowering the risks of upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) while lack of exercise leads to high risks of URTI.
A moderate exercise also lowers down the levels of stress hormones and the rise of body temperature obstruct the bacterial growth inside our body. Besides, exercise makes the circulation of our white blood cells fast inside the body and thus they detect pathogens and infections earlier. Also, regular exercise keeps your waistline in check and this factor is also conducive for your immune health.
Obesity comes from lack of exercise:
Obesity is also well-known for its jeopardizing effects on immunity. Obesity can reduce the immune system’s ability to fight off infections. Obesity impairs the immune response in a variety of ways like it decrease cytokine production, alter monocyte and lymphocyte function, and lowers down macrophage and dendritic cell function.
When we self isolate, we switch to a more sedentary lifestyle. The sedentary lifestyle induces obesity and hence our immune systems are impaired and we are more prone to infections and diseases. Self-isolation is an alarming situation for our immunity. But the good news is that we still can boost our immunity while staying at home.
Ways of Boosting Your Immunity at Home during self isolation
For boosting immune functions at home, first of all, you have to get rid of stress. Try to connect your friends and loved ones and engage yourself in positive and creative activities.
Take proper rest and do regular exercise. Besides making these desirable lifestyle changes, you might need to pay attention to your diet because a healthy and balanced diet can also boost your immune function.
By very nature, a balanced diet is a healthy diet. A balanced diet ensures that you take all the essential nutrients in the required quantities so that your body performs at optimal levels.
By having a balanced diet, your immune system will also be in a healthy state. If at home, you struggle with your expanding waistline, you can try out a ketogenic diet that is infamous for its weight loss properties.
A ketogenic diet or popularly known as ‘Keto’, is a high fat, low carbs, and moderate protein diet. Ideally, the keto diet comprises 60-70 percent fat, 15-25 percent proteins, and 5-10 percent carbs, though the carbs are restricted to 5 percent in most cases.
The ketogenic diet is effective in weight loss in the short term and many have benefitted from this diet so far. Besides exercise, going keto can boost your immune responses by reducing your body fat-obesity.
Along with a healthy diet, you must include healthy drinks like herbal teas and juices to boost your immunity while at home. These healthy herbal teas and juices contain antioxidants and other natural immune booster chemical compounds that help your immunity to deal with a wide range of health complications. Some of the healthy drinks are;
- Chamomile herbal tea
- Cinnamon herbal tea
- Lemongrass herbal tea
- Dandelion herbal tea
- Green tea
- Fermented elderberry soda
- Ashwagandha Banana Smoothie
- Spiced pomegranate punch
- Spicy Cherry Switchel
- Honeysuckle Orangeade
Exercise is essential for immunity
The government have always made a point of saying that the British population is allowed to go outside for exercise only. Have you ever wondered why that is?
By exercising we awaken our bodies immune response, causing it to become stronger, the same is true for making love, most physical activities will increase our immunity. However, it may have reached the point where you do not feel comfortable going outside to exercise.
Should this be the case, there is a long list of exercises that you could do within the safety of your own home, the range of possibilities is endless, from yoga right up to martial arts, you’d be amazed what exercise you can do at home!
Using supplements to assist your immunity
Of course, with a busy lifestyle, empty shelves and enforced lock downs, it can be hard to get a completely balanced diet. For the most part of course it is better that you receive all your vitamins and minerals from a balanced and varied diet, but should that not be possible, or you feel a little assistance couldn’t hurt. Supplements can add vitamins and minerals to your body in larger amounts, ensuring you get all the vitamins you may miss through your diet.
Choosing the right supplements
There can be so many different brands to choose from, how can you know who is the best? Well, there are a few tell tail factors to look for.
Organic is best, this way you know that you are not absorbing any other chemicals that were not advertised on the label but were involved in the growing process. If your product is organic, don’t worry the store will make sure you know within a few seconds 😉 there’s a reason for this.
But which supplements help my situation?
Well that depends, if you want all round health, there are a range of supplements on the market that provide a complete balance of all vitamins and minerals the human body needs, we stock an excellent organic brand that is completely vegan, for the health boost it gives you the price is amazing value!
But if you’re looking to assist a particular part of your body, a little more research may be needed. For example, oily fish or hemp oil is full of omega 3’s and 6’s, these are excellent for brain function and joints. Alternatively if you can find a good quality turmeric product, this will also have great effects on your joints whilst boosting your immunity!
Check out our latest range of immunity boosting supplements
Check out our post on the top 10 herbs and spices you can use to boost your immunity
Humans are born with social instincts. Going against these basic instincts and isolating yourself in the home can have detrimental effects on body processes and systems. The immune system is no exception to the rule and therefore social isolation weakens our immune system. But still, it is possible to boost our immunity while staying at home. By positive thinking, healthy living, and healthy eating the effects of isolation on immunity can definitely be minimised.