During this global COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to maintain our health not only for ourselves, but for our loved ones and community as well. What steps can you take to stay well in uncertain times?
Nobody is immune to the Coronavirus, and there are no known treatments. There may be some steps you can take to support your body while you are healthy, and we hope you are taking every precaution.
According to The New York Times, “The germs we are exposed to over a lifetime, as well as lifestyle factors like stress, sleep, diet and exercise all play a role in the strength of our immune response.” Let’s dive in and examine the role of sleep, stress, and exercise.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for nearly all facets of your health and wellbeing, including your immune system. The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) says, “Sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body – from the brain, heart, and lungs to metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance.”
The Mayo Clinic claims, “Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.”
Some tips from Mayo Clinic include sticking to a regular sleep schedule; a cool, quiet, dark room; getting exercise during the day – but not too close to bedtime; avoiding computer screens and phones before bed; and managing stress.
Reduce Your Stress
Stress is a natural response to life events, and the changes it produces in your body may help you better respond to those events.
Stress hormones affect your respiratory and cardiovascular systems. They help you breathe faster to distribute oxygen-rich blood to your body. Stress hormones also cause blood vessels to constrict, diverting oxygen to regions of the body where it is needed most. Stress may cause your blood pressure to increase.
Stress can impact your health negatively when the level stays elevated far longer than necessary. It may affect many body functions such as the immune system.
“The relationship between stress and illness is not a simple one, but there is a connection. Because the endocrine and immune systems are so interrelated, disruption to one due to physical or emotional stress typically causes damage to the other.” Psychology Today, How Stress Affects the Immune System.
Managing the stressors in life can be difficult, but how we react to those stressors can make a difference. A few techniques that may help include relaxation practices, meditation, practicing positive thinking, exercise, and connecting with friends and family (if not in person, then by phone, video, or other technology. )
Maintain Your Exercise Routine, If You Are Healthy
“The latest science suggests that being fit boosts our immune systems,” claims The New York Times in the article How Exercise May Affect Your Immunity.
In addition to the physical boost you may get from exercise, it may also help with mood, stress management, and sleep. There are some caveats, however. If you are using shared workout equipment, practice safe hygiene and social distancing. Scientists do not recommend beginning a strenuous workout routine if you are sick. Nor should you greatly increase the intensity or duration of your regular workout when ill.
Moderate exercise outdoors such as walking may be a great option to maintain health. Harvard Health Publishing published a study showing that walking at least 20 minutes a day for at least 5 days a week may provide some benefits for people with a common cold or flu.
Can CBD Help?
CBD supports your body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). This system helps maintain homeostasis — or keeping your body functions in balance — and it affects everything from sleep, appetite, pain, inflammation, memory, mood, and reproduction.
Our bodies are designed to protect and heal themselves, but a lot is unknown about COVID-19. During these uncertain times, CANVIVA encourages you to take the steps you need to take to support your body including getting enough quality sleep, reducing your stress, and maintaining your exercise routine.