It’s almost the holiday season and it’s one of the worst times to fall sick. Keep your immunity strong and stay healthy with these tips.
1. Wash Your Hands Thoroughly
Though it seems so simple, washing your hands properly is actually as effective as giving yourself a mini vaccine. It’s one of the best ways to rid dirt and germs to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. If that isn’t enough to convince you, consider this: participants in a study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found bacteria of faecal origin in 44 per cent of samples where participants didn’t wash their hands. Gross.
2. Take The Time To Breathe
Chronic stress suppresses your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flus. Find a healthy outlet to release tension. It could be hanging out with friends, doing a sport you enjoy, or even learning something new.
3. Clock In More Sleep
You knew this was coming. According to a study published in the Pflugers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology, sleep – or a lack of it – influences and affects your immune system in a big way. Sleep deprivation compromises your body’s immune function, and causes stress and inflammation levels to spike. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep each night – your body will thank you for it!
Health-wise, it pays to be a social butterfly. Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon University found that a lack of social support actually ups one’s risk of depression. The feelings of loneliness also weaken immunity. Think about it – having no one to turn to if you’ve had a bad day just fuels psychological and emotional stress. In the long run, that’s a sure recipe for poor health.
5. Eat Well
Diet definitely plays a big role in determining how well your body functions. Beyond filling your plate with superfoods rich in antioxidants (think colourful fresh fruits and vegetables), it’s also a good idea to load up on probiotics. These ‘good bacteria’ help to keep your gut strong and healthy to fend off infections.
6. Get Active
Every bit of exercise counts. Make it a point to move more, even if you’re just taking a walk (or catching Pokemon). Keeping active staves off a list of conditions and illnesses, and is thought to boost the circulation of antibodies to fight off germs and diseases.
Go ahead and LOL (laugh out loud) – it’s good for you! Laughing helps to ease stress and relieve tension, and also boosts a type of white blood cell in your body that combats infections.
8. Avoid Drinking So Much
Exessive consumption of alcohol may impair the immunity system and increase your body’s vulnerability to infections. So if you want to drink, do so moderately.
9. Spend Some Time In The Sun
Being under the sun triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D which helps to increase your immunity system.
10. Cut Down On Smoking
Smoking increases the risk of getting bronchitis and pneumonia so be sure to cut down on it so your body is able to function better.
Text: Dawn Chen/Shape