While others are often getting sick, you don’t. It is probably because you are practicing healthy habits that are protecting you. Check these healthy habits out!!
- Get plenty of rest. Research from Carnegie Mellon University suggests that people who slept less than seven hours a night were three times more likely to catch a bug than those who had more than eight hours of sleep a night.
- William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says getting the flu shot is the best way to improve your immune profile. The vaccine also lowers a person’s risk for heart attack, stroke, heart failure or other major cardiac event by about a third in the year receiving the shot, research shows.
- Don’t smoke. Enough said.
- Get sweaty. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that post-menopausal women who exercised regularly lowered their risk of colds; exercisers had about half the number of colds that women who only stretched had over the course of the year. Aim for moderately intense physical activity for about 45 minutes a day, five days a week to get the perk.
- Plain soap and water is enough to wash away microbial threats; antimicrobial cleansers are not necessary. The Center for Disease Control recommends scrubbing for 20 seconds each time you come inside. Also, use hand-sanitizing gels that contain alcohol when a sink is not available.
- Stay connected, since a robust social life can help you stay healthy. Researchers chalk up the good result of many social contacts to friendship’s stress-buffering effects. Psychiatry Professor Sheldon Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University said: “When people with social support face adversity, they are less likely to get sick and less likely to die than people who don’t have social support.”
- Laugh!! Laughing revs up your immune response. Select something funny to watch to increase your body’s NK cells, the infection-fighting part of your immune system. Data from a study at Western Kentucky University supports this idea.
- Drink a glass of red wine. The suggestion isn’t to start drinking alcohol, but if you do partake, the resveratrol in red wine has an anti-inflammatory protective action. Harvard University School of Public Health researchers found that red wine was particularly protective against colds. Better heart health and having a lower risk for respiratory illnesses is a red wine outcome.
- Stay positive. People who are content and relaxed are more likely to avoid a cold than those who are depressed, anxious or angry. This is the finding of Carnegie Mellon researchers who found that the content people were three times more likely to avoid a cold than the depressed group. The explanation is that positive attitudes lower stress hormones, such as cortisol, that make people more prone to illness.
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