Most people cannot boast of perfect immunity - but there are those who take steps to avoid getting sick. Here are a few simple daily habits to help strengthen your body's resistance to infection, and the personal experiences of women who do it.
1. They find time to sleep.
Studies show that for those who sleep 8 or more hours a day, the likelihood of developing a cold is three times less than for those whose sleep is less than 7 hours, writes Woman's day. Here is one of the reasons: at night your body recovers and regulates stress hormones that can make you more susceptible to infections.
“I have established a strict sleep and wake schedule for weekdays and weekends that applies to the whole family. Recently, we all went to a preventive appointment with a doctor who had not been treated for over a year. He said such rare visits are a feat for a mom and three kids aged 5-16! ”Says Nikita Burton of Lenexa, Kansas.
2. They eat foods of all colors
Eating foods rich in antioxidants, such as sweet potatoes (beta carotene), citrus fruits and sweet peppers (vitamin C), almonds (vitamin E) and red grapes or red wine (resveratrol), helps restore cells damaged in the fight against germs and bacteria .
“I used to get respiratory infections on a regular basis, but I put my diet in order and started eating more whole foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean protein. As a result, I have not been sick for two years, "admitted Susan Robertson from Knoxville, Tennessee.
3. They drink black tea
According to a study by the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, people produce three times more interferons (powerful proteins that destroy viruses on contact) if they drink 20 ounces (about 560 ml) of black tea every day. Perhaps this is because this type of tea contains natural antioxidants, says Pamela Peak, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland. Therefore, if you want to be ill less often, instead of coffee in the morning, drink a large cup of black tea.
4. They hug
Make an appointment with friends, especially if you have problems at work or at home, suggests a study published in the journal Psychological Science. People who receive social support in a stressful situation are less likely to get sick when they come into contact with viruses, and hugs strengthen the immune system.
“Every week I come to workout with my friends, find time for at least one“ date ”with my husband, and call my grandmother. These meetings keep me energized and healthy, ”says Camden Hoffmann of Morrisville, North Carolina.
5. They wear slippers
According to Ron Eccles, director of the Cold Center at Cardiff University in Britain, it is very important to keep your feet warm during colds and flu season. What for? According to him, cold feet "inform" the brain that the body needs to keep warm. In this case, the body reduces the flow of blood to those parts of the body that quickly lose heat. And since a decrease in blood flow means a reduction in white blood cells that fight infections, you will become more vulnerable to germs.
6. They have healthy intestines
Good bacteria can strengthen your immune system, so it makes sense to take probiotic supplements for many during the cold season. If you do not like this intervention, eat more fermented foods such as sauerkraut or yogurt.
“My kids were constantly sick when we moved to a new city and we decided to try probiotics. Almost immediately, my family's health improved, ”said Alison Schunover of Columbus, Wisconsin.
7. They are engaged in meditation
Meditation or exercise strengthens immune function, according to a study in the journal PLOS ONE. Try yoga classes that are combined with deep breathing and meditation.
“Practicing yoga regularly helps me stay healthy and soothes me. I go to classes once a week and do them three more times at home, ”admitted Sarah Boyes from Brooklyn, NY.
8. They wash their hands
No need to become a fan of hand washing. According to the CDC, you can reduce the risk of disease on 16-50%, if you remember to wash your hands before eating, before and after cooking, after using the toilet, and after sneezing or coughing. Soap and water are preferable (soap for about 20 seconds), but you should have a hand sanitizer with you with at least 60% alcohol in the composition.
“I was a massage therapist for 10 years and rarely got sick. I think it's a matter of consistent and strategic hand washing, ”says Jennifer Moot from Washington DC.
9. They watch TV
No, not all day, only half an hour. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh have found that a short, calming break during the day can reduce the risk of developing the disease to 80%.
“Stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, slow down white blood cells, making it harder for them to kill viruses,” said Carrie Demers, medical director of the Honsdale, Pennsylvania, General Health Center. "But a fun break that gives you a sense of relaxation suppresses the release of adrenaline and cortisol for a few minutes, allowing your immune system to aggressively attack invaders."
10. They do not touch the face with their hands.
It's hard not to rub the eyes in the morning, but it can contribute to the development of diseases, according to a study of 2013 of the year, published in the Journal of Occupational Health. Touching the face increases the likelihood of developing upper respiratory tract diseases by 41%.
“The key to changing unwanted behavior is to replace it with something useful or neutral,” says Tracy Stein, Ph.D., a psychologist based in New York.