Physically Speaking: The facts about COVID-19 – WTA Tennis

Posted: May 4, 2020 at 1:43 pm

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May 1, 2020

Find out more about the coronavirus pandemic.

By Dr. Jenifer Maynard

WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS and WHAT IS A PANDEMIC?

COVID-19 PRIMARILY SPREADS FROM PERSON TO PERSON AND FROM CONTAMINATED OBJECTS AND SURFACES

SYMPTOM RECOGNITION

DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT

REDUCE YOUR RISK OF COVID-19! FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES

THE IMMUNE SYSTEM

The immune system is complex, is composed of special organs, cells, and chemicals that prevent, limit and fight infection. The main components of the immune system include white blood cells, antibodies, the complement system, the lymphatic system, the spleen, the thymus, and bone marrow. Keep your immune system fighting fit with a comprehensive approach to all aspects of your health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

1. Dont smokea. Smoking decreases circulation and negatively affects lung function. Smoking is linked to many diseases, such as cancer, coronary artery disease, strokes, emphysema and other lung diseases. All of these reduce immune function.

2. Avoid excessive alcohola. Alcohol reduces immune system function by negatively affecting the digestive system, circulatory system, respiratory system, and decreases the production of immune cells.

3. Get adequate sleepa. Inadequate sleep may increase your risk of illness, including diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Most adults should aim for a minimum of 7 hours of sleep per night.

4. Minimize stressa. Cortisol is the hormone released during periods of high stress; it is known to suppress the immune system.b. To moderate your stress response, use relaxation techniques that are most effective for you - these can include yoga, meditation, prayer, listening to music, reading, walking, talking with a friend.c. Laughter is a great form of stress relief. It enhances oxygen uptake stimulating the heart and lungs and increases endorphins, thereby soothing tension and reducing stress.

5. Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetablesa. Recommended daily servings of fruit = 2+ (1 serve = 1 raw fruit, 1 cup of berries, or 1 cup of juice)b. Recommended daily servings of vegetables = 5+ (1 serve = 1 cup raw or cup cooked vegetables)c. Whole plant foods contain antioxidants, a substance that protects cells against the potentially damaging effects of free radicals. Antioxidant rich foods include blueberries, pecans, dark chocolate, strawberries, artichokes, goji berries, raspberries, kale, red cabbage, beans, beets, and spinach.

6. Encourage healthy gut floraa. 70% of our immune system is located within the gut. To encourage good gut bacteria, eat plenty of fibrous foods and pre-biotic foods such as, bananas, chicory, and flax seeds.b. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber, helping to reduce constipation and improve gut microbiome.

7. Eat healthy fatsa. Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, olive oil, or salmon, may boost the bodys immune response to pathogens (bacteria and viruses) by decreasing inflammation.

8. Consume sugar sparinglya. Sugar significantly reduces the ability of white blood cells to destroy pathogens.

9. Exercise regularlya. Moderate exercise improves the immune system by stimulating the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system houses immune cells that kill off abnormal cells and harmful substances. Muscle contractions during exercise works as the pump for the lymphatic system, so that it flows more effectively and potentially prevents infections.b. Intense bursts of exercise and prolonged training should be avoided when you feel unwell as this can depress the immune system - reduce training if presenting with excessive fatigue.

10. Proper hygienea. Wash your hands regularly, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends lathering with soap and scrubbing for 20 seconds.b. When you dont have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (>60% alcohol)c. Decontaminate frequently touched surfaces by wiping down with disinfectant.

The contents of the Health site are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice. The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

A special thanks to the author, Dr Jenifer Maynard, WTA Medical Advisor.

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Physically Speaking: The facts about COVID-19 - WTA Tennis

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