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The Simple Way to Boost Your Immunity Against COVID-19, Say Doctors

  • November 29, 2020

If you’re not sleeping well these days, you’re not alone. “A survey by OnePoll, commissioned by Leesa Sleep, took a look at about 2,000 Americans during this era of COVID-19 social distancing and working from home,” according to CBS. “The survey found that about 60% of adults say they’re more tired than they’ve ever felt before.” Click through to read what could happen if you did sleep better—and how that could help you fight COVID-19. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus.

woman in casual clothing using laptop and smiling while working indoors
woman in casual clothing using laptop and smiling while working indoors

“The ‘brain plasticity theory’ says that sleep is required for optimal brain function. In particular, sleep provides an environment where nerve cells (neurons) can reorganize,” says Dr. Daniel Lanzer. “So, when we sleep well, long and consistently, this gives our brain’s systems more unfettered time to do their jobs all the more effectively.”

happy woman enjoying summer outdoors
happy woman enjoying summer outdoors

“Sleep is essential for life,” Gregory Charlop, MD. “When you sleep well, you strengthen your immune system and reduce your risk of infection.” This is ever-so-important in the age of COVID-19.

Woman losing weight
Woman losing weight

“A good night’s sleep, combined with a healthy diet and exercise can lead to weight loss,” says Leann Poston M.D. “It can help decrease cravings for foods high in fat and carbohydrates.”

RELATED: COVID Symptoms Usually Appear in This Order, Study Finds

Brain impulses, thinking process
Brain impulses, thinking process

“Sleeping well allows our brain to lay the framework for improved memory and restock our brain’s neurotransmitters and hormones for the day ahead,” says Jared Heathman, MD. “Neurotransmitters that are more present during the day replenish and GABA, a relaxing neurotransmitter, plays a larger role.”

Young happy woman woke up in the morning in the bedroom by the window with her back
Young happy woman woke up in the morning in the bedroom by the window with her back

“When you sleep adequately, your brain consolidates your memories and gets refreshed,” says Omiete Charles-Davies, a medical doctor who leads the team at onedoctor.app, a health and wellness website. “You will feel brighter, in a better mood, and make better decisions.”

Woman Talking on Phone with Loudspeaker
Woman Talking on Phone with Loudspeaker

“Memory, focus, and learning ability are improved,” says Alex Dimitriu, MD. “Recall of facts and words is better, so our language and thoughts become more fluid as well.”

RELATED: Dr. Fauci Says Most People Did This Before Catching COVID

Close-up Of A Man's Hand Refusing Cup Of Coffee Offered By Person Over Wooden Desk
Close-up Of A Man’s Hand Refusing Cup Of Coffee Offered By Person Over Wooden Desk

“If you get good sleep consistently you’ll feel less of a need for caffeinated drinks like coffee to get you going in the morning,” says Andrea Paul, MD, Medical Advisor to Illuminate Labs. “Which leads to a positive feedback loop of better sleep that same night.”

Doctor filling syringe with medication, closeup. Vaccination and immunization
Doctor filling syringe with medication, closeup. Vaccination and immunization

“A past study from the NIH suggested that sleep can affect the efficiency of vaccinations,” says Dr. Daniel Lanzer. “In its research, the NIH showed that well-rested people who received the flu vaccine developed stronger protection against the illness.” This will be incredibly important once there is a vaccine for COVID-19.

man running on a treadmill at home
man running on a treadmill at home

“Sleep is very important—it is what gives you the energy to function and be productive,” says Dr. Soroush Zaghi. “With quality sleep, kids learn better in school, athletes perform better on the field, and employees accomplish more in the office,” says Dr. Charlop. “You’ll live longer and enjoy more energy.”

Worried woman at home alone
Worried woman at home alone

“You feel refreshed and no longer worry about sleep,” says Daniel Erichsen MD. “The vicious cycle of poor sleep producing more difficulties sleeping is broken and you continue sleeping well for the rest of your life.”

RELATED: 7 Side Effects of Wearing a Face Mask

woman smiling while sleeping
woman smiling while sleeping

“When you sleep well every night, or at least most nights, your brain goes through a complex restorative process. During the sleep cycle your brain regulates your metabolism, secretes growth hormones to rebuild and repair cells, and works to organize information accumulated during the day,” says Dr. Philip E. Stieg, chairman of neurological surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian. “Sufficient, high-quality sleep is extremely significant for many areas of health, but particularly the health of your brain.” As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don’t miss these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

How can I stay safe while shopping? 25 common virus questions answered | National

How can I stay safe while shopping? 25 common virus questions answered | National

  • November 29, 2020



Oxford scientists expect COVID-19 vaccine data by Christmas

FILE – In this Thursday, April 23, 2020 file screen grab taken from video issued by Britain’s Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England. A key researcher at the University of Oxford says scientists expect to report results from the late-stage trials of their COVID-19 vaccine by Christmas. Dr. Andrew Pollard, an expert in pediatric infection and immunity at Oxford, said Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020 that research was slowed by low infection rates over the summer but the Phase III trials are now accumulating the data needed to report results.




What does COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness mean? It refers to the likelihood that a coronavirus shot will work in people.

Two vaccine makers have said that preliminary results from their late-stage studies suggest their experimental vaccines are strongly protective. Moderna this week said its vaccine appears nearly 95% effective. This comes on the heels of Pfizer’s announcement that its shot appeared similarly effective.

Those numbers raised hopes around the world that vaccines could help put an end to the pandemic sometime next year if they continue to show that they prevent disease and are safe.

Effectiveness numbers will change as the vaccine studies continue since the early calculations were based on fewer than 100 COVID-19 cases in each study. But early results provide strong signals that the vaccine could prevent a majority of disease when large groups of people are vaccinated.

U.S. health officials said a coronavirus vaccine would need to be at least 50% effective before they would consider approving it for use. There was concern that coronavirus vaccines might be only as effective as flu vaccines, which have ranged from 20% to 60% effective in recent years.

The broad, early effectiveness figures don’t tell the whole story. Scientists also need to understand how well the vaccine protects people in different age groups and demographic categories.

For both vaccines, the interim results were based on people who had COVID-19 symptoms that prompted a virus test. That means we don’t know yet whether someone who’s vaccinated might still get infected — even if they show no symptoms — and spread the virus.

Also unknown is whether the shots will give lasting protection, or whether boosters will be required.

Physical Activity for Improving the Immune System of Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Physical Activity for Improving the Immune System of Older Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • November 28, 2020

This article was originally published here

Altern Ther Health Med. 2020 Aug;26(S2):117-125.

ABSTRACT

CONTEXT: COVID-19 has spread rapidly around the world and reached pandemic proportions. With no definitive treatment to date, prevention is critical, and strengthening the immune system is a valuable tool in reducing the risk of infection. While the aging process can weaken the immune system, physical activity may boost it.

OBJECTIVE: The review intended to examine the interaction between the changes in the immune system during aging and the development of a COVID-19 infection, focusing on pathophysiological factors, and to evaluate whether regular physical activity can strengthen the immune system in older adults.

DESIGN: The research team performed a narrative review by searching databases.

RESULTS: During the COVID-19 pandemic, older people can stay active and healthy through playing sports such as yoga, walking, jogging, and cycling. Also, they can use online or virtual yoga and Pilates classes and videos, perform resistance exercises with minimal facilities at home, and do daily housework, such as gardening.

CONCLUSIONS: In general, due to the positive role of regular exercise training on the immune system of the older adults as well as the involvement of the immune system in COVID-19, it’s necessary to guide and implement home-based exercises for older adults.

PMID:33245704

If you are old, try these home exercises and boost immunity in Covid age

If you are old, try these home exercises and boost immunity in Covid age

  • November 28, 2020
Exercise
Representative image | www.airforcemedicine.af.mil


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Older adults, especially those over 65, have five times the risk of hospitalization and 90 times the risk of death from COVID-19 compared with younger adults.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 78% of the more than 114,000 COVID-19 related deaths between May and August 2020 were people age 65 and older. Many of those individuals had compromised immune systems due, in part, to a variety of other health conditions including obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and hypertension. The CDC suggests these additional health problems could lead to increased severity of COVID-19.

The good news, however, is that regular exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness can significantly reduce the risk COVID-19 poses to older adults by improving overall health and boosting the immune system.

Now is not the time to stop moving

Staying active can be challenging, as many older adults are remaining at home most, if not all, of the time to avoid the novel coronavirus. As a result, the very changes in lifestyle that keep people safe from exposure can also result in their adopting sedentary habits – which leave people vulnerable to serious health consequences should they get COVID-19.

Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, which gets the heart pumping hard and improves cardiorespiratory fitness, has multiple health benefits, including reduced risk for stroke, heart attack, depression and age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that older adults get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise. That means three 50-minute sessions each week, or a little over 20 minutes per day.


Also read: Lost your motivation to work out? Here’s why


 

Firing up the immune system

Not only can exercise enhance overall health, it can also specifically improve immune system response, which is critical to surviving COVID-19.

As humans age, the immune system becomes progressively less effective at responding to new viruses because of an age-related weakening of the immune system, also known as “immunosenescence.”

The good news is that exercise improves the efficiency of the immune system in people of all ages. Every session of exercise mobilizes billions of immune cells throughout the body. The more immune cells circulate, the better they are at spotting and attacking potential pathogens.

Although there is no data yet on how exercise and cardiorespiratory fitness can reduce risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19, previous studies show that regular exercise improves the immune response to other viral infections. Regular exercise has also been shown to lower the risk of death from viral and respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, increased physical activity is known to improve and prolong the immune response from the flu shot.

Working out at home

How can older adults safely exercise and keep aerobically fit while stuck mostly at home without access to a gym? At the Aging & Brain Health Alliance at Rutgers University-Newark, we have been offering virtual exercise classes, by video conference or phone, for seniors using materials they can easily find around the home.

Here are a few suggested exercises from our fitness classes you can do on your own safely at home.

One of the best exercises to get you started on your fitness journey is to walk the floors of your home. Whether in a house or an apartment, take time every hour to get up and just walk. Set aside five to 10 minutes with the goal of increasing your daily step count and improving your overall cardiorespiratory health. Challenge a family member to join you and make it fun.

Remember to keep breathing, inhaling through your nose and exhaling from your mouth, and you will begin to feel the burn in your leg muscles. Try coming up and down five times if you feel safe and comfortable doing so. (For extra security, keep a chair or something else near by to hold on to if you lose your balance.)You should also take advantage of your walls. Wall sits are an easy way to engage your muscles and work your body. Simply stand with your back against a wall; step your feet two feet away from the wall and open your legs hip-distance apart. While keeping your shoulders against the wall, slowly and carefully lower your body until you are sitting in an imaginary chair.

Finally, use a chair. Sit at the edge of a solid chair focusing on maintaining good posture. Plant your feet hip-distance apart; take a big inhale and, on the exhale, slowly lift one knee toward your chest. This is a seated crunch and it will engage your deep core muscles. Complete five of these knee lifts on each side, making sure to do each knee lift on the exhalation.

Exercise habits developed during this period of COVID-19 – and maintained after the threat has passed – will support your immune health for years to come.The Conversation

Mark A. Gluck, Professor, Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University – Newark ; Bernadette A. Fausto, Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Molecular & Behavioral Neuroscience, Rutgers University – Newark , and Lisa Charles, Fitness/Wellness Research Coordinator for the Rutgers Aging Brain Health Alliance, Rutgers University – Newark

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Also read: Here’s a guide to smart workouts and good health


 

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