Building immunity is free

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MARIA FERNANDES | NT

Immunity has never been more important than it is today. With the COVID-19 positivity rate in the state falling, there is a general sense of relief. However we are not out of the woods! In fact, we have a long and difficult road ahead of us, where care and prevention by building’s one’s immune system are the key. To elaborate on this topic, The Navhind Times invited globally renowned holistic health and lifestyle coach, Luke Coutinho, on the ‘Talk from the Heart’ show that aired live on Sunday, May 30 on the Goa365 channel.

Immunity is the first and last line of defence in the human body and while it has always been the foundation of good health, unfortunately it was never focused upon. Expounding on the importance of preventive healthcare, Luke said: “Preventive wellness or medicine is all about the lifestyle changes that you make to prevent the onset of a disease. This does not mean you will not get sick but if you do, you will be in a better position to recover faster as you have invested in your lifestyle and your body is stronger.” Citing various chronic illnesses like diabetes, hyper tension and lung issues, he added: “We have seen that individuals with these conditions have been more affected by COVID-19 than others. Living with lifestyle diseases, according to me is a shame that we have in humanity.” Breaking the myth that these conditions cannot be reversed, he said: “There are millions of people who are doing so and this is possible by investing in ourselves and changing our lifestyles. The beauty of this is that it is absolutely free. We have to remember that healthcare becomes expensive when we do not take care of ourselves.”

Nutrition, he stressed, is one of the verticals of preventive healthcare. “What you eat today determines what the next month or the next five years of your life will be. You do not have to go to extremes and stop eating desserts or be on extreme diets but give the body what it needs to maintain its immune system and keep inflammation low, muscles strong, maintain flexibility and blood circulation high.” The best diet, he said, was one that had all the micro and macro nutrients in balance. Quality of food, he added, was another important factor.

The second vertical he explained was exercise and warned against over exercising. “Exercise helps boost blood circulation which is vital for a strong immune system and the smooth functioning of the heart, liver, brain, and much more,” he said and advised a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily.

The third factor that builds immunity he highlighted was sleep. Giving the various benefits of good quality and ample sleep, he said: “It is one of the most powerful drugs that has today been medically and scientifically documented to be related to every disease. Cancers, Alzeimers, heart diseases are worst when you are sleep-deprived. It even affects your eating habits and of course your immunity. Hence working on your sleep is very crucial. Do not wait to fall sick and for your doctor to tell you to sleep well, do this right now.”

The final pillar of immunity he spoke about was emotional wellness and explained how excessive stress is causing innumerable illnesses. “A little bit of stress will not affect us, in fact it is good for us, however chronic stress is the problem. When we push our bodies with the wrong foods, little or no exercise, less sleep and chronic stress, we invite illness. Hence preventive wellness is doing what is right for the body and in turn the body looks after us,” he added.

Introducing the term bio-individuality, he spoke at length on how every individual is unique and in accordance how every individual’s requirements are different from the others. “We are all bio-individuals and cannot compare ourselves with one another, nevertheless the fundamentals of health stay the same, namely – nutritious food, ample movement and sleep, and minimum stress,” he elaborated. Holistic health and what works for you, he stressed was important to maintain a balance.

Giving various tips on how to maintain a good diet and exercise and sleep schedule, Luke also spoke about other related topics.