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Boosting your immune system to stay fighting fit in battle against the coronavirus

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Singaporeans from all walks of life are coming together as we seek to fight the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) or Wuhan virus, as it is more commonly known. Here are some tips on what can you do to protect yourself and those around you.

Exercising or playing a sport outdoors

If you are not sick, there is no reason to stop working out or playing a sport with your mates during this period. In fact, exercising outdoors has been linked to improved mental health, such as reduction in stress levels, boost in self-esteem levels, and enhanced mental well-being, according to a study published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal.

multitaskingExercising outdoors is good for your immune system. Photo: Sport Singapore

Being under the sun also provides you with a healthy dose of vitamin D, which is essential for strong bones, a healthy immune system and strengthen metabolic function. Additionally, exposure to sunlight can improve sleep quality, raise immunity and increase endorphin production to lift your spirits.

TRY THESE: 60-Second Exercises that you can do anywhere

Good nutrition to maintain optimal immune system

Our immune system requires vitamins and minerals to function at an optimum level. Consuming a wholesome and varied diet ensures that our immune system operates at peak performance and helps us guard against illnesses and immunodeficiency problems.

food before bedConsuming a wholesome and varied diet ensures that our immune system operates at peak performance. Photo: Sport Singapore

Foods such as citrus fruits, red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach and garlic are just some examples of immune boosters that you can consume to stay fighting fit and raise immunity.

Here are some healthy lunch ideas and recipes for your consideration. 

Get your friends and family to join the #startwith60 challenge which sends you daily 60-second exercises you can do anywhere and keep your body moving.

Relieve stress to prevent suppressing of immune system

marathonConsider going for a run to relieve stress. Photo: Sport Singapore

Yes, stress can weaken our immune system. Basically, higher levels of cortisol and adrenaline can suppress our immune system and we will find ourselves falling sick more frequently. To counter this, why not go for a run, get your body moving with simple exercises or do some yoga to relieve all that pent up stress from work or school.

It is good to keep yourself updated on the status of the coronavirus situation but don't get unduly stressed over fake news that may be circulated to instil fear and unrest.

Get enough sleep to be fighting fit

What is a sleep cyclePhoto: Active Health

A lack of sleep can make you more prone to falling sick as your body produces less antibodies in response to an infection when it does not get enough rest. Every hour of sleep matters to our immune system. Getting less than seven hours of sleep almost triples our risk of catching the flu bug.

Lastly, do remember to practise good personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Visiting our ActiveSG facilities? Do have a look at this advisory before heading down.

Basic protective measures against the coronavirus

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Practice respiratory hygiene
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth
  • Seek medical care if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing
  • Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products

team nila distributing masks photo: team nila facebookTeam Nila volunteers at one of the mask distribution points. Photo: Team Nila Facebook

Everyone is doing their part to get through this tough situation together, from volunteering at mask distribution points across the island to individuals giving out free surgical masks at MRT stations.

As individuals, we can also play our part by being socially responsible. You should also see a doctor as soon as possible and stay away from crowds until you are fully recovered.

You can also check out the wide array of Active Health programmes on offer at the various Active Health Labs and ActiveSG Sport Centres

In the meantime, stay active and be safe! #SGUnited

What is the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCov)?


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Gary Yang is a myActiveSG Editor and Presenter. Gary started his career as a suit cum copywriter at an advertising agency, followed by a successful stint in Corporate Communications with Singapore Press Holdings and Asia Pacific Breweries, before eventually joining the editorial team at Sport Singapore. He now turns his attention to fitness and wellness headlines and sniffing out news angles in the sporting arena. Follow Gary on Instagram @thisisgaryyang