Are you secretly envious of your co-workers and friends who, like superheroes, never seem to suffer from illnesses like colds and the flu? What’s their deal? We decided to look into what was making these people seemingly “immune” from the common sicknesses many of us face and found they share some common habits.
1. They Wash Their Hands – Over and Over. Hand washing may sound like obvious advice for combating germs, but surveys suggest that most of us are not vigilant about washing our hands after using the restroom. In order to prevent illness, it’s important to wash your hands frequently. During cold and flu season, wash your hands with soap many times during the day because you’re in contact with all kinds of pathogens — doorknobs, stair railings, other people.
According to the CDC, proper handwashing for 20 seconds is the most effective way to avoid the 1 billion colds that Americans catch each year, not to mention other infectious diseases.
2. They Take Cold Showers. A small body of scientific literature indicates exposure to cooler water may increase the body’s natural antioxidants. It can feel uncomfortable to immerse our bodies in cold water, but it can also be invigorating. That’s because water that’s colder than our natural body temperature causes the body to work slightly harder to maintain its core temperature. When taken regularly, cold showers can make our circulatory system more efficient. Athletes have known about this for years.
3. They Sleep Well. Sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy. It’s been shown that lack of sleep causes weight gain, leads to a compromised immune system and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that triggers stress. Those who get into bed, fall asleep right away, stay asleep are more protected against colds than those who wake up repeatedly through the night. When you get a good night’s sleep, melatonin levels rise, which improves immunity. The best time for a quick nap is between 1 and 3 PM.
4. They Control Their Stress Remember the old saying: stress can kill? It’s true! It’s been proven: keep your stress down to live longer.
Researchers have noticed that If you’re constantly frazzled, you’re at higher risk for everything from a heart attack to diabetes to colds to irritable bowel syndrome.
5. They Lift Weights. Regular weight training may reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon and breast cancer, depression and diabetes.
6. They Value Friendships. You might not think having a social network would count a much as diet and exercise when it comes to good health.
Sociability increases self-esteem, which in turn, supports your immune system. Studies have found that good, close friends can protect against everything from memory loss and heart attacks to infectious diseases — no the friends who always drain you, but those who are like family that encourage you and support you.