For many Americans, living through 2020 has caused a dramatic shift in priorities, with their health, and the health of their loved ones especially, rising to the top as the most important concern. In fact, a nationally representative survey revealed more Americans care about the health of their loved ones more than they do for their own health right now (86% vs. 74%), according to new research commissioned by Emergen-C.
The “Immune Health Habits” survey of 2,005 Americans 18 and older also found that 69 percent of Americans care more about their immune health now than they did pre-pandemic. However, despite the increase in concern and care surrounding their wellbeing, 2020 has caused a majority of Americans to note that their health has actually changed for the worse, showcasing the importance of taking active daily measures to counteract some of the negative effects of the pandemic, particularly issues with sleep, stress, physical activity and diet.
While many Americans are taking precautionary measures due to the pandemic, their overall wellbeing has taken the brunt of it. As a result of the pandemic, 48 percent of Americans are stressed more often, 42 percent are eating less healthy and 30 percent are sleeping worse – all elements that can impact immune health.
“With health and wellness top-of-mind more than ever before, there has never been a better time to seek and implement actions focused on supporting one’s immune health into daily wellness routines since a healthy immune system helps protect the body” notes integrative and family medicine physician Dr. Bindiya Gandhi, MD. “With that said, while wellness is often a priority during the winter months, immune health is crucial year-round, so I urge everyone to kick this year off with healthy habits that you can carry through the rest of the year, like exercise, stress management and incorporating the immune-supporting vitamins and minerals found in Emergen-C into their diet.”
These healthy habits are especially critical as many deal with the negative health repercussions of pandemic life. Sixty-seven percent of Americans described their immune systems as strong prior to 2020; however, now more than 39 percent of Americans feel their immune health is weaker as a result of these measures taken due to the pandemic.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Seventy-one percent of Americans have an established daily wellness routine and two-thirds of Americans have made a more conscious effort to stock their home with health-related essentials. In fact, due to the pandemic, more than half of Americans have purchased at-home workout gear, a treadmill, a standing bike or a fitness or diet app/membership and take vitamins and supplements daily, while nearly one quarter (23%) have participated in virtual therapy sessions.
With the pandemic disrupting daily life, establishing a simple wellness routine can help ground and keep both physical and mental health in check. The survey revealed that even though 64 percent of Americans think that incorporating healthy habits would be beneficial to their immune health almost just as many – 50 percent – do not know where to start when it comes to establishing a daily wellness routine. While implementing or enhancing a daily wellness routine can sound daunting, the smallest and simplest changes can make a big difference in how one feels, physically, emotionally and mentally, on a daily basis.
“Our immune system is a crucial part of our overall health and wellbeing, as it’s our body’s natural defense system,” explains Dr. Bindiya. “In spite of how difficult our current circumstances have been this year, even small daily efforts made to improve one’s health can play a big role in supporting immune health. I applaud everyone who has committed to making such changes and it isn’t too late for everyone else!”
Dr. Bindiya Gandhi shares her five simple tips for maintaining year-round immune health:
- Consume a combination of vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin D and/or zinc, all of which are featured in Emergen-C products, to help support and maintain a healthy immune system.
- Share wellness tips and healthy habits among your inner circle and/or schedule virtual check-ins that can help you subconsciously focus on your health, and help you feel more involved in your loved ones’ wellbeing.
- Low impact workouts, like walking and light jogs, or using simple exercise equipment, like hand weights or resistance bands, can be an easy and gentle way to get in beneficial physical activity.
- Get between seven and nine uninterrupted hours of sleep (and avoid screen time) to reduce your cortisol production, which can have a negative effect on your immune system.
- Maintain lower stress levels through deep breathing exercises and meditation to help fight off issues that could compromise your immune health.
Amid the new normal where one’s health and the health of loved ones is top-of-mind for many Americans, prioritizing wellness activities on a daily basis can be key to feeling in control and maintaining immune health during the change of seasons and beyond. Now is the ideal time to start implementing an immunity routine, whether it’s practicing good hygiene, increasing physical activity, getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet or taking Emergen-C daily. Emergen-C products contain a combination of vitamins and minerals that can help support and maintain a healthy immune system, including vitamin C, vitamin D, zinc and manganese, so you can emerge your best each day.