Latest combined research from Carnegie Mellon, Harvard University School of Public Health, Western Kentucky University, the University of Michigan School of Public Health, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center gives us insight into our continued good health. Listed below are nine habits to protect yourself from getting sick. (1) Stay rested: Less than seven hours nightly and you are three times more likely to catch something. Seven to nine hours is best. (2) Get a flu shot: Not only is it effective 50-60% of the time, it lowers your risk for heart attack, stroke and heart failure by 1/3. (3) Don’t smoke. (4) Get sweaty: Physical activity boosts the increase in immune cells in blood and saliva. Five times/week for 45 minutes is recommended. (5) Wash often: Wash away microbial threats with plain soap and warm water often and constantly. (6) Stay connected: People with a diverse array of social networks are least likely to get sick. Those with three or fewer relationships are four times more likely to succumb to a bug. (7) Keep laughing: Watch funny videos or TV reruns to rev up your immune response. It promotes greater activity of the body’s infection-fighting NK cells, a fundamental part of the immune system. (8) Enjoy a drink: a glass or two of wine promotes heart health; red wine especially protects against colds. (9) Stay positive: People who are content and relaxed are three times more likely to avoid a cold than those who are depressed, anxious or angry. A positive attitude lowers stress hormones, like cortisol, which make people prone to illness. From: www.nextavenue.org
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