Importance of sleep and exercise for COVID recovery
Sleep and exercise play a very crucial role in our health and well-being. As Sleep is important in overall performance of our body, exercising improves our functioning of physical and mental health. Getting a good quality sleep is difficult at best of times but it’s harder when one is unwell. Being infected with a condition like Covid-19 is as it is very stressful. Thus, it is vital to have an understanding the Importance of sleep and Immune response of the body and how exercise boosts the Immune system which is helpful in recovery from Covid-19.
Sleep and Immunity
Poor sleep quality and quantity affects the immunity leaving it more susceptible to illness. When we are sleeping our Body produces proteins called Cytokines which are helpful in fighting infections, inflammation and help us respond to stress. But when we don’t get enough sleep our bodies produce fewer of these important Cytokines. There is a strong evidence that sleep enhances immunity and helps body to heal, for which Sleep is often recommended as one of “The best Medicine”.
How to inculcate Sleep hygiene for recovery?
Sleep hygiene refers to healthy sleeping habits and how to prioritize it, specially to recover from an illness. Let’s look at points below on how to do that:
Plan a consistent wake-up and sleep time.
Try to incorporate at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
Enhance your sleep environment by having clean sanitized bed spreads, dimmed lights and tidy surroundings.
Stop using phones or looking at screens an hour prior to sleep.
If it is necessary that you use your digital devices, make use of the in-built blue light filters / Reading mode available in modern-day devices.
Cut down on caffeine and sugar intake post sunset.
Don’t let any negative thoughts wander in mind.
Read a good, positive, motivating book or listen to some gentle music to help you fall asleep.
Exercise and Immunity
Exercising and physical activity stimulates the immune system and strengthens the body’s defense against infections. Exercise has a direct effect on the cells of the immune system and also fights against the negative mental aspects like stress, isolation and bad mood. Exercise increases blood flow and circulation of immune cells in the body which helps in evading the virus from the body. Regular exercise shall benefit in combatting sickness causing germs.
Can you exercise while recovering from Covid-19?
The answer is “Yes”. Being physically active can actually help in recovery from covid-19. Don’t worry if you feel weakness, tired, short of breath or low in energy. These are common problems with one recovering from Covid-19. So the initial aim should be to take things slowly with exercises.
Start slowly and set regular time and places to exercise.
Set targets and take rest when tired.
Walking is one of the best ways to regain strength and fitness.
Start walking for 10-15 minutes with slow pace.
If you don’t have much space for walking at home try Chair exercises like:
Sit to stand
Seated marching and leg-lifts
Include Mild breathing exercises.
Do yoga and stretches.
You can include more exercises as per your ability.
Note: Stop exercising if finding difficulty and don’t push yourself too hard.
Until the cure for Covid-19 is found, alternate methods to help in recovery are best to be to incorporated. Combination of Practicing exercises and Proper sleep will not only just help in recovery but also help improve their resilience against diseases. Remember Immunity is the best Asset today.