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Get Outdoors

Posted In Health & Wellness | 19/3/20 | Posted By Paul Ashburner

As the situation continues to unfold around Coronavirus, I wanted to take this chance to give you some tips that I've brainstormed  having read a few helpful articles, etc...

Currently, the reported worldwide cases are at about 200,000 and the current death toll is around 8,000. The entire UK is basically shut down with all restuarants, bars, gyms, and most businesses closed for the time-being.

Over the weekend, I have brainstormed with other health professionals all the best tips that people can follow right now. Here's what we collectively wanted to recommend to help out with this situation...

1. First and foremost, please get outside and GET SOME SUN... whatever you do, please DON'T stay locked up inside your house...that's the WORST thing you can do for your immune system right now. You need to get outside and get some fresh air and sunshine. Now that we're in mid-March, most areas in North America and Europe are getting warmer and sunnier, and getting sun on your skin is the biggest thing you can do to boost your immune system right now.

The aspect of vitamin D production in your skin from sun exposure is just one aspect of how sunshine boosts your immune system. There are other reasons too, such as how the sun improves your mood, serotonin, balances hormones, etc.

So whatever you do, please make an effort to get outside for daily walks in the sun (without having your skin fully covered, since you need skin exposed to get the majority of the benefits), or get outside and do some gardening or other yard work. Or even just lay out in the sun if you have a deck (without getting burnt of course).

Remember, getting outside doesn't mean you have to be around a lot of people. You can still get outside and stay safe all while significantly boosting your immune system. You won't catch coronavirus by breathing outdoor air. The virus only concentrates in indoor areas when you're around a lot of people. Being outdoors is safe.

It's interesting to note that the coronavirus has been mostly clustered between 30 to 50 degrees North latitude, but areas further south of that have been largely unaffected. In my opinion, and many other doctors too, the reason for this is because the sun has been stronger south of 30 degrees N latitude, so most populations south of there have much stronger immune systems than people further north that haven't seen any significant sun in the last 6 months.

Aside from getting sunshine and fresh air, we have a few more tips below...

2. I know you've heard a lot lately about immune-boosting herbs, nutrients, etc... While most of these nutrients won't "kill" the virus per se, what they CAN do is give you a nice boost to your immune system, which can reduce your risk of catching the virus, or can also reduce the severity and duration of the sickness if you do contract it.

So the point is, it CAN'T HURT to stock up on supplements that have proven studies to benefit the immune system right now. Many people argue over how much benefit they will have, but my position is that if they have ANY benefit at all in reducing your risk, or reducing your severity and duration of sickness if it were to happen, then it's definitely worth taking them. I'm personally taking a bunch of herbs and nutrients.

For starters, a high dose vitamin C is worth taking right now... it can only help, and there's no harm in taking reasonably large doses.  

Other immune-boosting nutrients that have proven anti-viral properties (and immune-boosting) are Quercetin, elderberry, zinc, garlic, echinacea, olive leaf, and astragalus.

 And there are powerful anti-viral herbs which are worth considering right now. Many of these anti-virals don't necessarily directly kill viruses by ingesting them, but they prevent them from replicating, and also reduce your risk of contracting a virus.

3. I've also been drinking bone broths every day, as they have a known effect on improving your immune system.  

4. I've read from several infectious disease experts that people that are overweight or obese are at MUCH greater risks of severe problems from coronavirus than people at normal weights.  So if there was ever a time to get down to a normal weight, it's NOW!  And since all restaurants and bars are closed at this point, there's no temptation to dine out, so you can make simple, healthy foods at home and lose fat easier.  

5.  Smokers are also at a much greater risk of severe complications from this infection, since this virus attacks the respiratory system.  If there was ever a perfect time to quit smoking cold turkey, it's NOW!

6.  Another population at greater risk of severe complications from this virus are people with insulin resistance and type 2 Diabetes... again, it's time to take this seriously, so loosing weight is an important factor in reversing Type 2 Diabetes for good.

Lastly, it's important for everybody to stay calm and not panic. The US still is only reported at around 6000 cases and 100 deaths out of 330 million people as of today, so while the situation could get scary if this thing spreads far and wide, we need to realize that a very tiny % of the population is actually infected right now, and as spring approaches, and people get more sun, we'll be seeing a very broad strengthening of most people's immune systems in the coming weeks.

So we need to be realistic about this, and not panic. But stay safe and avoid any indoor places where a lot of people are. Get outside and get some sun and fresh air!  And now is the perfect time to focus on dropping weight, fixing health problems like Diabetes, and stopping smoking too.

Paul Ashburner

Health and Wellness professional with 35 years experience in advising people on Health issues.

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