Living Your Best Life
Get started on the path to health!
Get started on the path to health!
Better health is central to human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more. Health2lab delivers relevant information in clear, jargon-free language that puts health into context in peoples' lives. Through medical content, insights from experts and real people, and breaking news, we answer: how it happened, what it feels like, what you can do about it, and why it matters.
SARS-CoV-2 spreads from person to person via small respiratory droplets. These are generated when a person with the virus exhales, coughs, or sneezes. You can contract the virus if you breathe in these droplets.
Additionally, respiratory droplets containing the virus can land on various objects or surfaces. Touching a contaminated object or surface and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth can also lead to infection.
Surgical masks can’t protect against infection with SARS-CoV-2. Not only does the mask not filter out smaller aerosol particles, but air leakage also occurs through the sides of the mask as you inhale.
Homemade face masks only offer a small degree of protection, but they may help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2 from asymptomatic people. The CDC recommends using them in public settings, as well as practicing social distancing and proper hygiene.
Handwashing has always been an important defense against bacteria and viruses that can be transmitted to us through the things we touch.
Now, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, it’s even more critical to wash hands regularly.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), can live on different surfaces for hours or even daysTrusted Source (depending on the material).
To protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDCTrusted Source recommends taking extra precautions and washing your hands in these situations:
after being in a public place
after touching a surface that may have been frequently touched by others (doorknobs, tables, handles, shopping carts, etc.)
before touching your face (eyes, nose, and mouth in particular)
Your immune system consists of a complex collection of cells, processes, and chemicals that constantly defends your body against invading pathogens, including viruses, toxins, and bacteria
Keeping your immune system healthy year-round is key to preventing infection and disease. Making healthy lifestyle choices by consuming nutritious foods and getting enough sleep and exercise are the most important ways to bolster your immune system.
Some supplements may help improve immune response:
Astragalus. Astragalus is an herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Animal research suggests that its extract may significantly improve immune-related responses
Selenium. Selenium is a mineral that’s essential for immune health. Animal research demonstrates that selenium supplements may enhance antiviral defense against influenza strains, including H1N1
Garlic. Garlic has powerful anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. It has been shown to enhance immune health by stimulating protective white blood cells like NK cells and macrophages. However, human research is limited
Andrographis. This herb contains andrographolide, a terpenoid compound found to have antiviral effects against respiratory-disease-causing viruses, including enterovirus D68 and influenza A
Licorice. Licorice contains many substances, including glycyrrhizin, that may help protect against viral infections. According to test-tube research, glycyrrhizin exhibits antiviral activity against severe acute respiratory-syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV)
Pelargonium sidoides. Some human research supports the use of this plant’s extract for alleviating symptoms of acute viral respiratory infections, including the common cold and bronchitis. Still, results are mixed, and more research is needed
B complex vitamins. B vitamins, including B12 and B6, are important for healthy immune response. Yet, many adults are deficient in them, which may negatively affect immune health
Curcumin. Curcumin is the main active compound in turmeric. It has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and animal studies indicate that it may help improve immune function
Echinacea. Echinacea is a genus of plants in the daisy family. Certain species have been shown to improve immune health and may have antiviral effects against several respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus and rhinoviruses
Propolis. Propolis is a resin-like material produced by honeybees for use as a sealant in hives. Though it has impressive immune-enhancing effects and may have antiviral properties as well, more human research is needed
According to results from scientific research, the supplements listed above may offer immune-boosting properties.
Steps to putting on a face mask
Before putting on the mask, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or rub your hands together thoroughly with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Check for defects in the face mask, such as tears or broken loops.
Position the colored side of the mask outward.
If present, make sure the metallic strip is at the top of the mask and positioned against the bridge of your nose.
If the mask has:
Ear loops: Hold the mask by both ear loops and place one loop over each ear.
Ties: Hold the mask by the upper strings. Tie the upper strings in a secure bow near the crown of your head. Tie the bottom strings securely in a bow near the nape of your neck.
Dual elastic bands: Pull the top band over your head and position it against the crown of your head. Pull the bottom band over your head and position it against the nape of your neck.
Mold the bendable metallic upper strip to the shape of your nose by pinching and pressing down on it with your fingers.
Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.
Be sure the mask fits snugly.
Don’t touch the mask once in position.
If the mask gets soiled or damp, replace it with a new one.
touch the mask once it’s secured on your face, as it might have pathogens on it
dangle the mask from one ear
hang the mask around your neck
crisscross the ties
reuse single-use masks
If you have to touch the face mask while you’re wearing it, wash your hands first. Be sure to also wash your hands afterward, or use hand sanitizer.
COVID-19, the flu-like respiratory illness caused by the novel coronavirus, is spread by respiratory droplets. Coughing and sneezing by an infected individual in close proximity to another person are the most likely means of direct transmission.
Shoes tend to be a lot dirtier than clothing just by their very nature. As such, they’re more likely to carry bacteria and other contaminants into the home.
researchers took samples from the soles of shoes worn by members of the medical staff in the intensive care unit at a hospital in Wuhan, China.
They found that half the samples tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus strain that causes COVID-19.
These findings have led researchers to suggest that the soles of medical staff shoes might function as carriers of the disease.
What we usually do with shoes is already protective. We don’t put our shoes on the kitchen table. We don’t put shoes in our mouths. They aren’t high touch areas. So, our daily patterns already reflect our management of shoes as dirty objects,” said Jordan.
But you can take additional safety measures to ensure that contaminants don’t enter your home by cleaning off your shoes and either leaving them at the door or designating an area safely away from social areas of your home in which to leave shoes and other outerwear.
“Taking off your shoes and cleaning them before you enter your home (and leaving them in your garage, washroom, or porch) would also be advisable. This will prevent you from introducing virus into your home from a simple trip to the grocery store. Just make sure you clean them outside your home or apartment, and let them dry naturally,
Walking meditation is often used by people who sit for long periods. The walking practice helps to get the blood flowing, especially to the legs. It helps to alleviate feelings of sluggishness or stagnancy.
Mindful walking is also a great way to boost blood circulation and raise your energy levels if you’re doing seated work for extended periods.
Walking after eating is a fantastic way to boost digestion, especially if you’re feeling heavy or full.
Movement helps food to move through your digestive tract and may also prevent constipation.
If you’re looking to lower your stress levels, you may find it useful to do a seated meditation practice before or after you work out.
It’s important to stay active, especially as you age. Regular exercise helps to boost fitness levels and improve mood — both of which are at risk of declining in older adults.
According to a small 2014 study, older people had fewer symptoms of depression after practicing Buddhist walking meditations 3 times a week for 12 weeks. They also improved their blood pressure and functional fitness levels, which can be achieved through walking.
When possible, take a walk in nature, like a park, garden, or place with trees, which may enhance your overall feelings of well-being and help you feel more balanced.
The practice of forest bathing is popular in Japan for its pros like relaxation and enhanced brain activity.
According to a 2018 study, people who walked for 15 minutes in a bamboo forest showed improvements to their mood, anxiety levels, and blood pressure.
Health2lab covers all facets of physical and mental health openly and objectively because we’re here for the whole person — for your whole life. And because people come to us with unique challenges we listen closely and put empathy first across our organization. In everything from our personal perspectives to our commitment to inclusivity, you’ll see that we feel with you.
We cut through the confusion with straightforward, expert-reviewed, person-first experiences — all designed to help you make the best decisions for yourself and the people you love.
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