Are you tired of falling sick with every changing season? Or are your number of sick leaves increasing every month? Missing work and family time often due to sickness?
We understand that changing seasons and spreading epidemics can be worrying about one’s health. Not only do they bring physical and mental challenges but they also adversely impact your wallet.
But what can be done on your side to escape these miseries you may ask? Many factors contribute to living a healthy lifestyle. These include sleep, diet, activity levels, and environmental effects. Incorporating healthy changes in your lifestyle accordingly is the easiest yet the most effective measure.
The oldest trick in books is eating healthy. Over 70% of your immune system is situated in your gut and therefore your diet forms the foundation of your health. Dietary deficiencies can thus impair your immune function and increase both the risk and severity of infections.
Try to stick to a balanced healthy diet regularly even if all the junk food looks appealing. Include fresh vegetables, fruits, and fish in your diet. Aim for foods that are rich in vitamins and essential minerals such as citrus fruits, grains. dairy products, nuts, fish, seeds, beans, mushrooms, whole grains, dark leafy greens, and dried fruits as well as avocados, tofu, shellfish, cheese.
Another most important measure is planning your meals to include ingredients with special immunity-boosting properties such as Dark chocolate, oily fish, spinach, ginger, berries, green teas, turmeric, etc.
For instance: turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer activity known for centuries. It also has a strong antioxidant property that detoxifies the body of injurious chemicals and decreases exercise-induced muscle damage.
Quit Bad Habits
This includes cutting on smoking and alcohol intake that adversely affects the immune system.
Alcohol impacts negatively by disrupting the normal flora of the gut that is a barrier against infectious microbes, allowing more toxic antigens to enter the blood and cause infection. Excessive drinking also decreases the number of specialized immune cells and cause dysfunction in remaining.
Tobacco smoking, on the other hand, increases the risk of acquiring infection by decreasing the levels of protective antioxidants (such as vitamin C), in the blood. Nicotine, the main constituent of tobacco smoke is a major immunosuppressant, which inhibits both the innate and adaptive immune responses in the body.
Modern lifestyles are associated with physical inactivity and long sedentary periods, which eventually lead to obesity and indolent behavior seen in younger adults and adolescents Physical activities are recommended for about a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes, 3 to 5 days a week to tackle the risk factors of diabetes and promoting a healthful lifestyle.
A mild to moderate physical activity not only reduces the risk of cardiac diseases but also increases stress tolerance of myocardial muscles and cardiac fitness. Physical activity of 20-30 mins a day or 150 minutes a week is essential in keeping your heart healthy. You can make small changes in your choices to increase your physical activity throughout the day, such as taking a bicycle to the office or work, preferring stairs over elevators, walking small distances instead of taking a cab, etc.
During sleep, the body releases protective cytokines that have anti-inflammatory actions. Therefore, the absence of good quality sleep or simply sleep deprivation can make your body more vulnerable to infectious agents with decreasing secretion of cytokines.