Does Staying Inside Weaken Your Immune System?
We’ve all been told to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” in order to flatten the curve of this virus, but are we weakening our system while doing it?
Could it be sort of like when a child is born and doctors say that catching a cold can be a good thing in order to build up immunity to that cold?
While we understand that lockdowns are important to prevent the spread of coronavirus, research is coming out that certain aspects of quarantine aren’t good for our physical or mental health.
Sunshine is important for both mental and physical health because your body uses sun exposure to make vitamin D. Without it, you might be more susceptible to infection and may also feel tired or moody. So if you’re staying home, that’s one thing, but experts say you should be stepping outside to get some sun too.
It’s been noted that isolation and loneliness can affect your immune system as well. Loneliness is associated with chronic stress and inflammation, which can weaken your immune system. Research has found that it’s your perception of loneliness — not an objective measure of social isolation — that is associated with negative health outcomes.
In fact, a previous study conducted by Prof. Cacioppo in 2014, found that older adults who experience extreme loneliness are at nearly 15% greater risk for premature death.
Fortunately, health officials say it’s still possible to spend time outdoors while social distancing, such as going for a run or walk, if you follow precautions like avoiding crowds, sticking to open areas, and not over-doing it, Insider previously reported.
If you’re not able to get outdoors for safety reasons, you may want to consider adding more vitamin D to your diet or supplementing it.
And if you feel alone, there are groups for that. Researching neighborhood walk groups or social groups that are designed around your interests can help you meet people and build connections, even if it’s virtually.
So how do you know if your immune system is getting weaker?
You Feel Tired All the Time:
You know that burning the candle at both ends is bound to leave you feeling sluggish. But if you’re getting enough sleep and still suffering from exhaustion, it’s worth considering if your immune system is trying to tell you something.
You Have Lots of Stomach Issues:
Low amounts of helpful gut bacteria that a good immune system provides can leave you at risk of…