What many people don’t realize is that it’s possible to go from that first group to the second group with the right lifestyle changes. By taking a few key steps to improve their overall health, people can dramatically improve their immune systems, making them less susceptible to the common cold and other illnesses.
1. Healthy Eating Habits
The food a person puts into their body has a significant effect on their health. A balanced diet of natural foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals is a great way to ward off infections. The right foods also provide energy, so people who eat right tend to maintain their energy levels throughout the day. Healthy foods to eat include fruit, vegetables, lean meats, and eggs. As a general rule, anything that comes from an animal or the ground is good to eat.
2. Physical Activity
Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly get sick less often than those who don’t. It’s best to get some form of physical activity for between half an hour to an hour every day. This doesn’t always have to be an intense workout, as even a half-hour walk on a lunch break can work. Another option is breaking workouts into smaller intervals and spacing them throughout the day.
3. No Stress
The body isn’t designed to constantly be in a state of stress. Over time, those stress hormones lower the body’s resistance to colds and diseases. Fortunately, there are many ways that people can control their stress. Exercise is one option which also fulfills the physical activity requirement. In times of elevated stress, it can be helpful to spend about 10 minutes relaxing and performing deep breathing exercises. Have you tried meditation or yoga? Both activities are great stress relievers!
4. Sufficient Sleep
When people have a busy schedule, one of the first things they cut back on in their quest to do more is their sleep. That’s a big mistake, as the body needs sleep to recover. The recommended guideline is 8 hours of sleep per night, although there is some flexibility there and everyone’s sleep requirements are a bit different. People who get at least 7 hours of sleep do tend to have less risk of a catching colds.
Hand washing isn’t just some old wives’ tale; it actually is important for fighting the germs that cause colds. While being a clean freak isn’t necessary, it is smart to keep hand sanitizer or wipes around, as the hands are exposed to quite a few germs on a daily basis.
6. Cold Showers
It may seem like torture the first time around, but many people end up loving cold showers. Those who take them regularly have mentioned several benefits, including improved circulation, fewer colds, and reduced aches and pains. It’s best to take it slow with cold showers, especially during the winter when it’s colder outside. One option is simply rinsing off with cold water for one minute at the end of a hot shower.
7. Fresh Air
Getting outside has several benefits that help people stay healthy. It can serve as a physical activity if a person goes for a walk, run, or hike. It reduces stress, as several scents found in nature have a relaxing effect. It also takes the person out of stuffy indoor environments that are full of other people and, consequently, germs.
A cold can happen to anyone, and there’s no way a person can guarantee that they will never get sick. However, there are reasons that certain people don’t get sick, and the vast majority of those reasons relate to lifestyle choices.