How to Maintain Good Health Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
In the last days, “There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven (Luke 21:11).” The World Health Organization (WHO) characterized COVID-19 as pandemic. Are you afraid? What should you do to prevent yourself and your family from having this deadly disease? Here are some ways how we can maintain good health amidst this pandemic:
Follow the WHO Advice to Public
- Wash hands frequently with soap or use alcohol-based hand rub;
- Maintain social distancing of at least 1 meter or 3 feet distance from another individual;
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth;
- Practice respiratory hygiene (cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing);
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early;
- Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Living a healthy lifestyle improves your health and potentially your immune system. Your immune system protects you against infection, clear damaged tissues, provides constant surveillance of malignant cells that grow within the body and helps avoid unwanted response to healthy tissues.
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food (Gen. 1:29).” This is God’s dietary guideline for us. The vegetarian diet is found to be adequate in all of the nutrients.
Limit intake of refined sugar
High blood sugar level weakens the immune
System. Only 100 g of refined sugar intake can decrease the function of the white blood cells by 40%.
No to tobacco and secondhand smoke
Active and second-hand smokers do not
only have an increased risk for viral infections but also for bacterial infections. Smoking affects the immune system by either worsening the immune response to disease-causing microorganisms or reducing the effect of immune defense system.
No to alcoholic beverages
Excessive alcohol consumption was associated
with adverse immune-related health effects such as susceptibility to pneumonia; increased risk to acute respiratory stress syndromes, sepsis, alcoholic liver disease, and certain cancers; higher incidence of postoperative complications; and slower and less complete recovery from infection and physical trauma, and poor wound healing.
It is recommended for adults for all age groups to exercise for at
least for 30 minutes, five days a week at a moderate intensity level. Add 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity spread across the week, and muscle strength activity for at least 2 times a week. It is also recommended for adults 65 years and older to include activities that improve balance and coordination. Remember to warm up, do endurance exercise, flexibility exercise, resistance training, and cool down.
Adults should sleep 7 or more hours per night on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Sleeping
less than 7 hours per night on a regular basis is associated with adverse health outcomes, including weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, and increased risk of death. Sleeping less than 7 hours per night is also associated with impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, increased errors, and greater risk of accidents.
Stress hormones can overstimulate or suppress the immune responses which can result in harmful consequences.
Develop healthy relationships
God created us to enjoy relationships and He craves to enjoy a relationship with us.
Trusting in God is associated with lower levels of anxiety and lesser symptoms of depression. Trusting in God improves mental health and physical health.
Finally, let us claim the promise of the Lord to the Israelites. He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you (Exodus 15:26).” God is our Protector and Great Healer.
Now, should you be afraid?
By: Chirlynor Ebora-Calbayan, DrPH, RND
Faculty at the Public Health Department
Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies
Find out more about AIIAS.