The Challenge of COVID-19: What Should We Do?

  • Lifestyle — Do all that is required to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus, including compliance with social distancing, limited group interactions, regular hand washing, and routine use of masks in public.
  • Sleep — Focus on getting 7–8 hours of restful sleep daily. Sleep plays an important role in immune system health.
  • Exercise — Regular daily activity — as light as one hour of brisk walking — can have a very positive impact on immune system function. In contrast, over training has been found to have an adverse effect on the immune system. Finding your personal balance is the key.
  • Environment — Avoid exposure to chemicals in the air, water, and food. This includes the excessive use of over-the-counter drugs, home care products, and certain personal care products that can potentially place a burden on our immune systems. Try to spend at least 20–30 minutes outdoors each day.
  • Stress — Set aside time each day to do something that gives you a sense of peace. This could be reading, listening to music or a podcast, watching a video, or engaging in quiet meditation.
  • Diet — Nutrition is not one-size-fits-all. No single diet will optimize immune function for everyone, but the following guidelines are foundational to an immune-rejuvenation approach:
  • Time-Restricted Eating — This practice involves consuming all of your food during a 10-hour period of each day, and then avoiding both food and beverages for 14 hours. Time-restricted eating has been found to be helpful in stabilizing both metabolism and immune function.
  • Supplements — Through extensive research and study over the past 20 years, it has been determined that a number of nutrients are very important for the support of immune function. There is evidence that many of these nutrients may not be adequately consumed in the diet, therefore daily supplementation at the appropriate level may be advisable:
  • Microbiome Integrity — A high fiber diet that is rich in prebiotic nutrients to support a healthy intestinal microbiome has been found to be important in supporting the intestinal immune system. There is also evidence that a well-balanced probiotic supplement can also help in establishing a healthy intestinal environment.

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Jeffrey Bland, PhD

Jeffrey Bland, PhD

Founder, Personalized Lifestyle Medicine Institute