Staying healthy during the pandemic

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As the pandemic rages on, protecting oneself by following healthy lifestyle habits is of utmost importance. NT KURIOCITY asked a few youngsters what they are doing to boost their immune system 

With COVID cases increasing day by day, having a strong immune system is more important now than ever before. To improve my overall immunity, I have adopted a lot of healthy habits including incorporating protein, iron, and vitamin-rich components into my diet such as dal, leafy vegetables, etc. Apart from this, regular pranayama (breathing exercise) for as little as five minutes per day can prevent all sorts of respiratory illnesses. Ministry of AYUSH recommends the use of immunity boosters such as Chyawanprash and other food supplements. This is being followed in our house too. Do not take any medicine which claims to cure coronavirus unless and until it is verified by the government. Lastly, I would recommend doing steam inhalation.

– Sai Samir Kumar Lolla, Goa Engineering College, Farmagudi

Amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and death rates, it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically. Regular physical exercise is deeply beneficial to stay healthy. But can functional foods and dietary supplements boost the immune system? The answer is ‘No’. The immune system is activated only when there is an infection. According to immunologist and former director of CSIR – Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, Ram Vishwakarma, “Immunity is a much-abused word that people do not understand. The immune system is very complex. These claims about boosting immunity are irrational and unscientific.”

– Deborah Furtado, electronics engineer, Varca

I’ve been relying a lot on yoga lately to keep myself fit. I’ve been a yoga practitioner for the last four to five years but my practice was very inconsistent. Since March, I became consistent with yoga more than ever. I practised it only because it was helping me in my dance practice. I’m a classical dancer so yoga helps me a lot to maintain the flexibility that classical dances demand. I try to practise yoga and dance for at least one hour a day. Regarding diet, I don’t have one. I just eat whatever is cooked at home. However, I’ve stopped drinking tea with milk for the past several months. I only drink black tea with lemon juice, garlic, and lemongrass in it. These ingredients help remove the toxins from the body. I feel that it’s not difficult to keep aside 30 minutes a day, to give attention to our body.

– Akhil Sawant, freelance journalist, Ponda

With COVID cases rising, it is almost becoming a part of our life. I think in the end we will all learn to live with it. But I have noticed that people have stopped taking precautions. The basic precaution that I take is wearing a mask when I’m outside, taking a bath as soon as I reach home, and keeping items I got from outside aside for 24 hours. My food patterns have also changed. These days I eat food that contains garlic, jeera, etc that help build immunity. Apart from these I also started consuming Vitamin C and multivitamin tablets. My motto is we have to do our part in taking care of our health and leave the rest to fate.

– Athulya VM, Taleigao

The first thing one has to do is think positive. Eat healthy and nutritious home-cooked food and maintain good hygiene. Clean your throat by gargling with warm salt water. Clean all the sensory organs by taking hot steam which contains jeera, ajwain powder, and eucalyptus oil. Also, try to be active and do some aerobic exercises ie yoga, pranayama, and some weight-lifting exercises, dusting, mopping, gardening, etc. Practise some natural hobbies of your choice. I also believe that soap is the best sanitizer for corona or any virus or bacteria. Social distancing is the norm nowadays or it can be taken as a good general attitude for avoiding any kind of infection.

– Shalvi Singh, Carmel College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Nuvem

Being a doctor, I would like to advise people to practise good hygiene and eat right, ie warm food, home-cooked food and avoid raw food. Also, one should get enough sleep for at least seven to eight hours, avoid daytime sleep and do breathing exercises. After coming back home from the market or work I recommend gargling with warm water and half teaspoon of turmeric. Hydrate yourself with warm water and avoid consuming cold items. Keep your mind active by meditating as it will reduce stress and avoid unnecessarily travel. And do not take any medication without the doctor’s advice.

– Siddhi Gaunekar, AYUSH doctor, PHC, Ponda