We all know that person who is perennially healthy and almost never gets sick. Sickening isn’t it! What are they doing the rest of us are not? Were they born with super healthy genes or do they practice certain habits keeping them out of doctor’s offices and off expensive medications?
Although it’s impossible to avoid never getting sick, there are certain self-care behaviors that do help to avoid unnecessary illnesses. If you’re frequently sick with colds or flu, adopting these behaviors can minimize days stuck in bed or missing work.
Here are 8 healthy habits of people who walk in wellness staying robust and disease-free
1. Variety is the spice of life
Mixing it up with your food choices is a very good thing. Your body and immune system need a whole host of numerous vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to keep things running smoothly. Step outside your comfort zone – instead of an apple, try mangos. Instead of green beans, try Brussel sprouts. Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables like broccoli or spinach, about a fourth of the plate with a whole grain and the other fourth with a lean protein source.
2. Keep your hands clean
Frequent hand washing is a must if you want to stay well. Our hands are home to bacteria and whenever we touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, we transfer those germs right to where they want to go to get us sick. Wash hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before handling food, after handling any raw meat, touching animals, using the bathroom, changing a diaper and just about any other time we touch or handle anything that could make us ill.
3. Lessen stress
Stress suppresses the immune system making it easier for you to get sick. A study at Carnegie Mellon University asked volunteers about the amount of stress in their lives and then infected them with a cold virus. If the volunteers were dealing with high stress they were twice as likely to get sick as those who were under less stress. Practicing techniques to reduce stress will help you feel better both mentally and physically.
4. Supplement with vitamin D3
Adequate levels of vitamin D are essential for our immune system to function the way it is designed to. Dietary sources of vitamin D are far and few between – most of our intake comes from the sun. To optimize your vitamin D intake, consider taking a vitamin D3 supplement ranging from 500 to 2000 International Units (IU) daily.
5. Take a probiotic daily
If our gut gets sick, we feel sick. To keep our gut and the trillions of bacteria occupying it feeling healthy and happy, consume daily a good food source containing a probiotic.
6. Keep moving
The single most important thing you can do to reduce sickness is to exercise. Consistent exercise boosts your immune system in addition to lowering the stress hormones plus gives a workout to the heart, lungs, improves circulation, and enhances mood. Carving out 30-60 minutes most days of the week will keep you feeling refreshed and revitalized.
7. Get some Zzzzz’s
Shut-eye is very important for staying well. Studies have shown people who only sleep five to six hours a night have a 30% change of catching a cold when exposed to the virus compared to people who get between 8-10 hours each night. Those extra hours of sleep is key for a strong immune system.
8. Frequent sex
Yes, sex can keep you healthy and well. The reason – people who engage in regular sex (at least once or twice a week) appear to have higher levels of an immune system protein called immunoglobulin A (IgA). Low levels of IgA will make you more susceptible to infections such as ear infections, sinusitis, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.