What Makes You Susceptible to Getting a Cold or the Flu?
Have you ever noticed that you get sick with a cold or the flu much more often than others around you? Or someone you know is constantly sniffling and maxing out on sick days at work? This happens because there are certain aspects of a person’s life that can make them more susceptible to getting sick. Knowledge is power. Be aware of what makes you susceptible to getting sick. This is the best way to avoid those situations in the first place, and start living a healthier life with a stronger immune system. People with a healthy immune system are able to stay healthy, even when they have been exposed to others with a cold or the flu.
Vitamin D Deficiency
Someone who gets colds or the flu often may have a Vitamin D deficiency. People with low Vitamin D levels are more prone to catching the flu or colds because the body’s T cells rely on the Vitamin D receptor gene to work properly. Increasing your Vitamin D intake is an easy way to increase your body’s immune system. Exposure to the sun is a great way to increase Vitamin D. Just 6 or 7 casual exposures to the sun in a week’s time can make up for a period of up to 49 days without sun. Dairy products and other foods, such as fish and mushrooms, are all great ways to increase your Vitamin D intake.
Not getting enough sleep leaves your body drained, and your immune system at risk. Your body needs sleep to recharge. Getting the proper amount of sleep will boost your immune system, and help you fight off bacteria and infections that are part of everyday life. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to help fight off infections. Children, senior citizens and those with weak immune systems may need nine to ten hours of sleep to properly charge their immune system. Less than the recommended amount of sleep leaves your body weak and prone to contracting illnesses like a cold or the flu.
Regular exercise promotes the circulation of immune cells through a person’s body. This type of circulation makes your body more likely to fight off infections. In fact, people who exercise at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week are much less likely to get sick with a cold or the flu than people who do not exercise at all. The type of exercise a person takes part in is not important when it comes to building your immune system because any type of exercise will naturally increase the body’s production of T cells. A high T cell level is important in creating a strong immune system. This means whether you like to jog or take leisurely walks, you can decrease your chances of getting sick by doing any type of exercise you choose.
Have you ever noticed that you get sick when you are extremely stressed out? This is not a coincidence. Emotional stress has a significant impact on the body’s immune system. For example, when someone is stressed out, they most likely are not sleeping well, and not eating right. A good way to make your body less susceptible to getting sick is to decrease the amount of stress in your life. People handle stress and stressful situations differently. Great stress reduction techniques are taking deep breaths, exercising, meditation, and learning problem-solving skills.
Being aware of the aspects of your life that make you susceptible to getting sick will allow you to make healthy changes that can build a healthier immune system. With a healthier immune system, you can be exposed to others or objects infected with the cold or the flu, and still stay healthy.
Last but not least, do not invite the cold and flu viruses you’re your body in the first place. Make it a habit to wash your hands, and don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.