Your lifestyle can affect your immune system, which main function is to protect you from germs, viruses and chronic diseases. Hence it is important to recognise which bad habits can negatively affect the normal functioning of your immune system.
1.You do not sleep enough
Generally, you are more likely to catch a cold or other infections when you do not get enough rest.
A team of scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine claims that sleep is one of the most effective preventive medicine measure. Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist at this institution, believes that his research demonstrates that insufficient sleep can block certain genetic processes that take place at the cellular level. “The immune system no longer works properly when sleep is insufficient” he said.
2. Lack of physical exercises
According to several studies, moderate exercise (brisk walking, cycling or swimming for 45 minutes a few times a week) can strengthen the immune system, reducing the chance of getting ill by up to 50%. Aerobic exercises have the role of improving the blood flow and thus the circulatory system efficiently transports cells that fight infections. However, it is not advisable to work out to the point of exhaustion because it can have the reverse effects (e.g. weakening the immune system)
3. Unbalanced diet
Sweet foods and drinks inhibit the immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least several hours after drinking/eating. In general, it is preferable to eat more fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients such as vitamins (C and E) beta-carotene and zinc. Select for colorful fruits and vegetables, including berries, oranges, kiwi, apples, red grapes, onions, spinach, potatoes and carrots.
Specialists include in the list of a proper diet, the fresh garlic, which can help your body fight viruses and bacteria.
Short-term stress has been demonstrated to favour the transfer of cells that fight infections, called lymphocytes, from the bloodstream to the skin, which can help block the infection and accelerate healing, according to some researchers. On the other hand, long-term stress seems to have potentially damaging effects on certain immune cells. For example, killer natural cells, which attack infected cells with viruses and certain tumour cells, can be suppressed by chronic stress. Viruses can also exploit the vulnerability created by stress. Thus, you can get sick more often or catch severe cold and flu if your body is under the pressure of chronic stress. Moreover, wounds do not heal as quickly, and vaccines that should help prevent certain conditions, will not be very effective.
5. Social isolation
Between work and house work, we are often left with no energy for friends or a coffee in town. But social isolation affects us both mentally and physically.
If you have a health problem, even if it is a minor one, the social support and the emotional benefits your relatives can bring cannot be easily replaced.
The psychic comfort you have and the certainty that whatever happens, there is someone with you, will trigger a better mental state.
This even leads to increased immunity! How ? Cortisol, the hormone of stress, will decrease and will strengthen the immune system.
In fact, a study conducted by several researchers at Princeton University shows why sadness is one of the most damaging emotions for our body.
The researchers chose 52 sick subjects (both men and women) who were asked to write about the most beautiful, but also the most painful experiences they during the academic years. For the beautiful experiences, they were asked to write a story that evokes the state of “intense happiness” while only the unpleasant experiences which caused a state of “intense sadness.”
During this autobiographical exercise, their brain activity was measured. 30 of them wrote about the beautiful experiences, and 22 of them have the right wrote about the sad ones. After 2 weeks, the researchers evaluated their health status. Those in the first category were cured without the need for antibiotics, while people in the second group needed a longer time for healing.
6. You do not wash your hands regularly
Basic hygiene rules guarantee a strong immune system. Hand-washing should be done before and after going to the toilet, before and after eating a meal, after physical contact with an animal or after returning from a crowded area. Unfortunately, there are still many people who forget to do so.