Although we’re loving the opportunity to get out and about again, with the Covid-19 Delta variant circulating, we still want to keep our body’s defenses as strong as possible. And in great news, research reveals that reveling in warm-weather fun can reduce the risk of Covid-19 complications by as much as 73 percent! Here’s what you can do.
Lounge by the Pool
The sun you soak up while lying poolside cuts the risk of severe Covid complications by up to 29 percent, new findings in the British Journal of Dermatology suggest. Study authors say sunlight spurs the skin to release nitric oxide, a compound that blunts the ability of the virus to multiply in cells. Plus, previous Georgetown University research found that sunlight boosts activity of virus fighting T cells by a whopping 350 percent.
Take a Hike
Enjoying the scenery at a park lowers the risk of serious Covid complications by 73 percent. So say experts at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, whose new study found the benefits in people who got 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week. Physical activity enhances immunity to protect against infection, while also reducing the risk of conditions that can increase Covid severity, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Spoon Up Baked Beans
Dig into a second helping of BBQ favorites like beans and coleslaw. They’re packed with fiber, a nutrient that strengthens the lining of the intestines by 30 percent. Why that’s key: Recent findings at Philadelphia’s Wistar Institute indicate that a strong gut wall can lower the risk of severe Covid complications by 63 percent. It keeps troublesome microbes in the GI tract from leaking into the bloodstream, where they trigger inflammation that can worsen infection.
Sip Iced Tea
Brew it with green tea, and you’ll fend off Covid with every sip. The tea’s such a potent inhibitor of Covid-19 that investigators in India advise drinking three to four cups (about two tall glasses) daily to prevent infection. Credit for its protective effects goes to a compound called EGCG, which blocks the action of enzymes that help the virus multiply.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.