BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - While you’re at home there are things you can do to boost your immune system to help fight off coronaviruses like COVID-19 or the flu.
Boosting your immune system is as simple as making some lifestyle changes.
Dr. Lauren Moore is a Primary Care Physician at the Baton Rouge General.
She explained why it’s important, now more than ever, to adapt to a healthier lifestyle.
“We like to think of the immune system as the body’s law and order to help keep cells in line and to help remove damaged cells and to help fight infection and inflammation when it’s due,” said Dr. Moore. “So things that you can do at home are going to be the appropriate lifestyle modifications.”
Those things include a proper diet, exercise, sleep hygiene and preventing chronic diseases like diabetes, COPD, and heart disease.
Dr. Moore said these are going to be the main stays of boosting your immune system.
“There’s nothing you can buy over the counter, there’s no magic snake oil, vitamins, supplements, anything like that that’s going to be a better immune booster than maintaining a healthy lifestyle," she explained.
Since Governor John Bel Edwards ordered Louisianians to stay at home until April 30th so many people are adapting to new schedules at home.
But that can actually be a good thing.
“It’s easier now more than ever, to maintain a healthy lifestyle, because unfortunately a lot of us have found that we have more time on our hands lately and we also have a cell phone now so you can link up with your local dietician. Ours at the Baton Rouge General are offering Telehealth visits and you can find so much information online about proper diet and exercise regimens as well," she said.
The Jeanlouis family is making the best of this time together at home.
All of their meals are cooked by mom Casandra and for exercise, they’re finding fun ways to get the whole family involved.
“I do have a trainer and he keeps me on my toes," said Casandra Jeanlouis. “We do TikTok and we dance. We try to make fun of it."
The family takes daily walks and Jeanlouis’ sons, Jordan, Peyton and Zachary stay active by playing outside.
Some of the other things you can do to boost your immunity are to get good sleep for about eight hours.
“Maintaining a healthy sleep habit is very important to boost your immune function. Most healthy adults need about seven hours of sleep a night. If you don’t rest well and you don’t get good sleep your body’s response to that is to release stress hormones. Things like cortisol and adrenaline and these hormones blunt your immune system’s ability to fight infection,” said Dr. Moore.
If you’re a smoker consider quitting.
“The number one risk factor for chronic disease is gonna be smoking," Moore said. "It damages lung tissue and it promotes inflammation that your immune system is tasked with cleaning up. So for people at home right now the important thing to not do is to smoke. We want you guys to quit smoking. There are appropriate medicines we can use to help with that.”
Baton Rouge General also offers smoking cessation counseling which works like group therapy to quit smoking.
The hospital also has other Telehealth resources to get a jumpstart on these lifestyle changes.
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