(NOTE these are the same tips I would offer for general cold & flu prevention to minimise the risk of severe infection – nothing changes – just support your own natural defence system)!
1. Stress control/reduction
If you are not already actively practising stress reduction, now is a great time to start. This will do you good for the rest of your life anyway! You live in the modern world, stress is a part of that & stress is your immune system’s biggest enemy!
2. Better personal hygiene
We all need a reminder now & then, wash your hands properly (we all get complacent), & be mindful of touching surfaces that potentially have too many germs.
3. Lung strength/vitality
The best thing you can do to strengthen your lungs is deep breathing techniques & vigorous exercise, this gets your lungs & diaphragm really working hard. Healthy strong lungs = hopefully less chance of a ventilator required! Click here to get your hands on starting the exercises. This can also be your best answer to stress reduction!
4. Vitamin D
It’s extremely important to get out in the sun regularly, or supplement if you can’t! The easiest way to do this is by taking vitamin D supplements.
5. Gut microbial diversity
See study below – butyrate production by our gut microbes decreases URTI’s from descending (while there is no guarantee this is the case with COVID-19 there is a good chance it will be similar). Here’s an interesting article worth checking out on Microbiome health, butyrate & immune defence, (note: data not from Coronavirus patients).
6. Great nutrition
There are so many good reasons why good nutrition is important, immunity is just one!
Our mucous membranes (first point of contact for germs) need to be hydrated to defend properly. Drink hot herbal teas / watery soups if you’re sick of water (who knows if the heat-sensitivity thing makes a real difference, but it can’t hurt!)
8. Awareness of risk factors & situations.
Don’t spend time in environments where someone is coughing and sneezing! Little infectious droplets will be hanging in the air, ready to get into your nose, mouth or eyes – increasing the chances of infection.
Mobilise your immune cells! If your lifestyle is sedentary, your immune system is going to be less active too. You need to move your body to get everything pumping through, recognising & attacking any invaders quickly. Don’t overdo it though (this will make you more susceptible). Just regular moderate exercise.
Sleep is vital for a healthy immune system – here are some things that will help improve your sleep quality. A consistent nighttime routine, avoiding screens and caffeine, taking a hot bath, a self-massage, deep breathing, meditation, being in a cool temperature environment, blackout curtains, rising at the same time every morning, getting morning sunshine and writing lists before bed! These are just a few ways to improve your sleep. Additionally, look for a sleep guru to help, or Michael Mosely has a new, easy to read book!
11. Less alcohol
Now is not the time to use alcohol for stress relief! It will compromise your immune response, in turn, increasing the chances of infection!
12. Less sugar
Eat well all the time, especially if you don’t want pesky infections to get the better of you.
13. More fibre
Support your butyrate producers (see link below). Some foods that will help increase your fibre intake are Blend11, resistant starch e.g. raw oats, cooked and cool rice, and potatoes, green banana flour, legumes.
14. Embrace a fever!
If you ever get a fever from cold or flu, my advice is always work with your body not against it! Your immune system raises body temperature to make it less hospitable for viruses. Don’t get in the way of that! Just stay hydrated & keep your brain cool (wet cloths to the forehead etc).
CORONA SURVIVAL KIT FOR THE ELDERLY & IMMUNOCOMPROMISED
- Bikini & swimming trunks – A reminder to get out in the sun daily & get your vitamin D fix. Vitamin D = essential for immune function!
- Photos of the grandkids – It’s best not to bring them around for a bit!
- Water bottle – Keep well hydrated for mucous membrane health & defence!
- Lavender oil – Lavender oil aids sleeping, relaxing, lowering anxiety levels and as a bonus makes the house smell good if you’re in lockdown!
- Weight sets/resistance bands – Even if walking & vigorous exercise is difficult due to pre-existing injuries or conditions, your body will benefit from any extra movement that can do to get the blood & immune cells mobilised. Exercise counts even if it’s done sitting in a chair or in a bed – this is why a weight set / resistance bands are a great alternative.
- Meal delivery subscription – A meal delivery subscription helps save time on shopping, avoids having to go into busy public spaces, allows the food to be delivered to the door & will most likely allow for healthier & more nutritious meals.
- Guided deep breathing recording – It can be played on whatever device they can easily operate! It helps with immunity, stress reduction, as well as strengthening the lungs & diaphragm!
- Good old cod liver oil caps – Vitamin A & D for healthy mucous membrane defence.
- Zinc & Vitamin C – There’s a high chance they’ll be deficient in zinc, & both zinc and Vitamin C are essential for immune defence, arming the body against infection.
- Protein powder – the elderly are notorious for not getting enough protein, a powder they can easily mix in with water or whatever milk they like will be a great help – protein is needed to build immune cells.
- Greens powder & bone broth – If they’re not eating a great diet, these are simple to prepare & contain many important immune nutrients & gut support. Remember gut health is the foundation for immune health. We, of course, recommend Greens + Aloe – because aloe vera is a great antiviral. Here are some interesting studies relevant to the potential benefits of Blend11 & Greens + Aloe during viral infection. (Note: against herpes family viruses & H1N1, not Coronavirus) – Article 1 and Article 2.
- Immune support/prevention formula – Armaforce, Astra 8 are great options (available in health stores around Aus), or alternatively ask your local health food store or chemist what they recommend. Buy what is recommended and what you think they will take regularly. Be sure to check for interactions with a pharmacist to any of their meds – get a list of what they take. These are selling out quite fast – will likely be a toilet paper scenario soon!
- Entertainment – In case there is the need for staying at home for long periods make sure that they have a number of things they can do for entertainment! Some things may include books, crochet, craft or cooking supplies, Netflix subscriptions, movies, puzzles & crosswords.
- A device to keep them connected – Having a digital device to stay connected to friends & family, e.g a smartphone or iPad. To make things easier, set up a messenger group chat that everyone can keep in touch through.
- Homeopathic arsenicum 30c – A dose each day for 3 days, 1 x per month. This can’t hurt & may prove very useful! The Indian government recommends arsenicum as the remedy of choice in this epidemic.
- Last but not least – toilet paper! That is if you can find any! This will, of course, help reduce stress & the need to visit supermarkets!
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