4 Easy Tricks That Can Help You Avoid Getting Sick
Did You Know: This year you are likely to get 3 colds, each one lasting around one and a half weeks? It might seem like a lot, but on average adults are getting sick for nearly 30 days each year. Some of us are more susceptible to illness than others—for example childcare workers or anyone that is exposed to a large amount of people each day. No matter how much exposure you have to viruses and bacteria, it’s always smart to prepare for the worst and take every precaution you can against getting sick. Here we explain some of the easiest things you can do to help ward off an illness before you ever even know there’s a threat.
1.Sleep Is Not A Luxury, It’s A Must
CNN recently published information about a Health Study that found even the slightest loss of sleep increases your chances of getting sick. When both a well-rested individual and a less-rested individual are presented with the same virus, the body that has gotten less sleep is far more susceptible to getting sick. In this particular study, all participants were exposed to the same virus, of which 88% were infected by—although not everyone actually got sick, only 43% went on to experience cold symptoms. The other 45% were able to quickly fight off the bug before falling prey to illness, researchers contribute this to a solid 8-hours or more of sleep each night. They found it isn’t just about spending time in your bed, it’s all about the time you actually spend asleep, not just tossing, turning, or watching TV. Those that got 8 hours of sleep each night faired the best, even better than those who got 7 hours of sleep; surprisingly researchers found as little as 10 minutes can impact how well the immune system responds.
2. Wash Your Hands Regularly
Prevent the spread of bacteria by washing your hands often, especially after returning home from the mall, market, or any other public place where germs commonly thrive, awaiting their next host. Interestingly, one doesn’t have to use scalding hot water to kill germs, using lukewarm water will have the same killing effect without drying out your hands, and potentially causing cracks in your skin. More Tips on Avoiding Sickness
3. Don’t Stress, Think Positive
Are you continuously stressed out about getting sick? If so, you are only increasing your risk of catching a cold or flu. When we experience stress, about anything at all, our stress hormones (cortisol and epinephrine) elevate, causing our immune system to weaken. Tips on Increasing Your Immune System One study out of Carnegie Mellon University asked 193 healthy adults to record their everyday emotions over a period of 2 weeks. Using this data, researchers identified positive mindsets vs. negative mindsets and then sought to see who is getting sick more often. Turns out, those with a more negative worldview are more likely to develop cold symptoms throughout the year. Still, that doesn’t mean if you have one unhappy day you’re going to come home sick. Instead, researchers want people to look at the bigger picture, overall do you see the glass half empty or half full?
4. Certain Foods Prevent Getting Sick
Your diet doesn’t only impact your weight, regularly eating certain foods has been found to decrease how often you find yourself getting sick. Garlic, for instance, actively fights against bacterial, fungal, and viral infections; plus, it tastes great chopped up and added to just about any recipe. One study found people who consume garlic daily, or take a garlic supplement, suffer 36% less colds each year. Nonfat Greek yogurt is also an immune-assistant, as it is packed with live and active cultures that promote a healthy gut. Plus, the added protein ups the number of immune cells you have, giving your body more fighting power.
A few other yummy foods that can help fight off colds include:
– Green Tree
– Blueberries & Strawberries
– Dark chocolate
Remember, foods pack important vitamins and minerals that our body craves in order to function properly. Vitamin D and Vitamin C are huge—and yet American’s commonly don’t get enough in their everyday diet. A supplement is one option, but the most natural way to deliver nutrients to your body is through eating adequate servings of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. Oh, and don’t forget to drink plenty of water, your body must also be hydrated to fight off an intruding illness.