The ongoing pandemic of novel coronavirus has revealed one thing for sure. People with weak immune system are at high risk of facing fatal consequences if they get infected.
Prevention is better than cure. The principle once again proves right as physicians and healthcare providers continue to urge people to observe social distancing and self-isolation in a bid to avoid the infection.
Same can be true when it comes to improving the immune system. Strong immunity can help people defeat the infection. There are a great number of people who have survived different sorts of cancers and might have weak immunity owing to multiple therapies. They need to be extra careful in their diets and lifestyle during the pandemic.
South African expatriate Sondra Hope is not only an internationally certified nutrition, wellness coach and rehabilitative fitness trainer but also a cancer survivor, who says she keeps on fighting.
“I have been working in the health and wellness industry for about eight years, focusing on a holistic approach to health and wellness. The emphasis has not only been on nutrition and training but also on emotional and mental wellbeing.”
Hope’s Yala Health project pays attention to personal training, nutrition and meal plans, and healthy snack mixes to fuel body, mind and soul. “Rather than a passive approach to health, we encourage and empower people to become a responsible partner in the process of health restoration; thereby creating the potential for increased vitality and a stronger, healthier life.”
The cancer survivor follows a set schedule to spend her time at home observing social distancing. “I thrive on a routine and a set schedule. Since I am fortunate enough to still be working although via Zoom, I have a set schedule for my client slots every day. I have also created a schedule for my daughter to align with her school work. This time can be stressful for everyone in the household and unfortunately it can become a vicious cycle.”
Hope, like other health experts, thinks that keeping oneself away from other people is necessary for cancer survivors to avoid the infection as the very first step. “Social distancing is the first and foremost step. I had to make the tough decision to put my entire one-on-one training clients and all other clients, onto Zoom. You need to minimise your exposure to potentially contracting the virus to an absolute minimum. When you do go out, make sure you have your mask and that you sanitise your hands all the time and do not touch your face.
Hope, who has faced multiple cancer relapses, further said: “It is also very important that you practice self-love. This can mean doing yoga or meditation or taking a long bath or pampering yourself. Mental health during this time is very important as stress in itself can lower the immune system. If you struggle with anxiety and depression, it makes it even harder. Acknowledge the situation and your feelings of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. However, focus on taking it one day at a time and keep controlling those things that you can such as your exercise and nutrition. Again, this is where having something predictable like a set schedule comes in handy.
The nutrition coach is all out for giving the body the best chance to be strong. “You also need to take ownership of your health and understand that you can still give your body the best possible chance to be strong. Keep moving! Keep exercising. You do not need equipment to do so.
“Make sure you get enough micronutrients in thorough-fresh whole foods like fruit and veggies. There are many supplements out there that can help boost your immunity especially for people who are immunocompromised. I specifically include intakes of vitamin C as well as fish oils and my absolute go to, is fermented food like the kombucha that I make.”
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