As the fall and winter come, people become vulnerable to common colds, flu, and other infections. Still, there are a few individuals who manage to stay healthy—even when everyone around them is coughing, sneezing, and feeling miserable. Or they simply seem to be better at fighting infection than others and recover super-fast. If you have ever wondered what these rarely getting sick people are doing that you're not, then here is the answer. It’s their lifestyle practices. Yes, you read it right! Our lifestyle plays a significant part in the functioning of our immune response. The stronger the immunity, the lessor will be the sick days.

We have revealed 10 secrets of people who rarely get sick – only for you.  Read on…

10 Secrets of People Who Rarely Get Sick

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Start by making small changes to your lifestyle. Little adjustments to your everyday routine may keep you healthier for a longer time. Know the secrets of living healthier:

1) Eat a healthy diet

  • Fill half your plate: Fruits and vegetables should make up half of your plate at every meal and snack.
  • Eat the rainbow: Consume a range of colorful fruits and veggies throughout the day. The most colorful fruits and vegetables have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and strengthen the immune system to ward off colds and flu.
  • Steam & flavor:  Consume fruits and vegetables in their natural state or prepare them using low-fat methods. Try steamed vegetable that is prepared by using low-calorie or low-fat dressings, with a pinch of herbs and spices to enhance the taste.

2) Stay hydrated


Aim to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. Water contributes to general well-being by aiding in digestion, controlling body temperature, lubricating joints, and eliminating body toxins and waste.
 
Here's how you can drink more water:

  • Keep a water bottle handy with you at all times, and fill it up as needed.
  • Select water over sugar-filled beverages like canned juice, regular soda, or energy drinks.
  • When dining out, choose water. You'll cut calories and save money.
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Pour some lime or lemon wedges into your water. This may enhance the flavor.

3) Exercise


Getting active can help protect your immune system. Twenty minutes of exercise (of any kind) can act as an anti-inflammatory in the body. Reducing inflammation can help your body fight off foreign invaders (bacteria and viruses) and reduce the risk of developing chronic illnesses. 

What kind of exercises are good for you?

Exercise doesn’t necessarily need to be intense but moderate-intensity exercise will also do the trick like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, and dancing.

4).  Get enough vitamin D


Vitamin D not only promotes bone health but also strengthens the immune system. You can get it from sunlight, food, and supplements. Researchers have proved that vitamin D supplementation can also help protect against acute respiratory infections. 

Tips to attain adequate Vitamin D levels:

  • Sun is the free source:  While you ensure adequate sun exposure to produce vitamin D in the body, don’t forget to use sunscreen to protect from the sun's harmful UV effects. 
  • Vitamin D-rich food: This includes fish, dairy, egg yolk, and fortified meals.
  • Vitamin D supplements: Request a test from your doctor if you think you may be low in vitamin D who would add a vitamin D supplement into your daily regimen. 

5) Follow a fixed sleep time


Sleep is one of the best ways to help you stay healthy. A good night's rest not only keeps your stress levels down but also helps improve your immunity. Many studies have linked reduced sleep to increased illness rates and susceptibility to the common cold. A study proves that those who slept for less than seven hours a night had a three percent higher risk of contracting the virus and were more likely to develop a cold. Hence, getting 7-8 hours of sleep is important, but good sleep quality is also essential.

Tips for good sleep quantity and quality:

  • Ensure that while you sleep, your bedroom is peaceful and relaxing, lights turned off, and at the ideal temperature.
  • Stay away from electronics including phones, computers, and TV an hour before bedtime.
  • Be consistent in your sleep timing.
  • Steer clear of heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol right before bed.
  • Avoid using tobacco.

6) Limit daily stress

Did you know that stress can lower your immune system's ability to fight off infection? This in turn increases your likelihood of catching common infections readily.

Tips for managing daily stress through the following stress-relieving activities:

  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Laughing with your peers and family
  • Exercise
  • Deep breathing
  • Journaling daily positive affirmations
  • Reading your favorite book
  • Going for a nature walk

Essentially, it involves dedicating time to integrating new habits into your everyday schedule. Make one change in your daily routine to start with and see the results for yourself. 

7). Quit tobacco


Smoking not only increases your risk of cancer (lung cancers and oral cancers) but also increases your risk of heart and lung diseases (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Smokers also experience an increased risk of respiratory ailments and colds. Additionally, e-cigarettes are not safer either, despite what some people may believe.

8) Keep up with your vaccinations


Make sure all your vaccinations are up-to-date. The Centers for Disease Control maintains that getting your flu vaccine annually is the best way to lower your risk and prevent the spread of flu.

9) Maintain good hygiene


One of the most crucial things one can do to prevent getting sick and infecting others is to wash hands frequently. Wash your hands a lot with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds, or you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

10) Seek social support from the community


For a healthy life, it is pivotal to engage and connect with friends and loved ones. Social support has proven beneficial in boosting the functioning of the immune system, cardiovascular system, and endocrine system. The emotional support provided by social ties not only reduces stress but also enhances your psychological well-being. Adults who have community support are healthier and live longer than their counterparts.

Conclusion

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With the advent of fall and winter, seasonal change illnesses like cold and flu outbreaks. But you can be the person this season who rarely falls sick.  All you need to do is take good care of your nutrition, hydration, hygiene, physical exercise, daily supplements, and sleep pattern, and quit stressing trivial things along with any form of tobacco intake. Incorporate these tips and activate your immune system for a healthier you all year long.

If you have any questions related to cold/flu or any other everyday ailments consult with our Primary Care Physician at Ask a doctor, 24x7.

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Disclaimer:  Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes.

About the Author

Dr. Shweta Khanna

Shweta Khanna is a dental surgeon who has experience in dentistry for more than 13 years. She has been writing innovative medical and healthcare content for the past eight years. She has authored various medical blogs/articles related to dentistry, orthopedics, dermatology, women's health, consumer health articles, and research articles (basic and clinical).


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