Staying healthy during a pandemic and beyond

Posted at 8:47 PM, Mar 19, 2020

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Many people are wondering what they can do to stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to proper hand washing and social distancing.

Dr. Anup Kanodia is a doctor of functional medicine based outside of Columbus. He said following the guidance about hand washing and social distancing is critical. However, he gave other tips on how most people can boost their immune systems during this time.

Focus on reducing stress. Dr. Kanodia said having a positive mindset is important, as well as releasing expectations about how long the pandemic and restrictions could last.

Get outside and get exercise and fresh air, as well as Vitamin D from sunlight.

Make sure you're getting proper nutrition. Limit sugar and alcohol, as those can increase inflammation and decrease immunity.

Take supplements if you're low on Vitamin D and Vitamin C.

Get enough sleep. That means not only getting enough hours of sleep, but making sure it is good quality sleep.

Dr. Kanodia said that may sound like a lot, but he urges people to pick just one thing to start and then slowly add in more habits as time goes on.

He said this not only helps boost immune systems of people who are healthier and are likely to have milder COVID-19 symptoms, but it also helps protect people who are immunocompromised.

"It’s like this idea of herd immunity, and so we talk about that in vaccines, but what we’re finding in South Korea, Italy, even U.S., is that there’s about five days before we get symptoms," Kanodia said. "So what happens is you and I might get these mild symptoms, but now we’re passing it off to someone immunocompromised or someone who’s having symptoms and now they go to the moderate, severe."

Kanodia said taking steps such as social distancing, staying in your house if you don't need to anywhere and doing proper hand washing will "exponentially" help us during this pandemic.

"And then you do the extra stuff, the lifestyle stuff that you know makes you healthy," Kanodia said. "If you add those things in, you’re helping society, you’re helping yourself. You’re helping your friends, your family."

He said many people will come out on the other side with more resiliency and better health after this pandemic.

"And what happens is we’re going to value our relationships so much more after social distancing," Kanodia said. "We’re going to value our life so much more. I’m going to value going out to dinner so much more because of that."