5th March 2013
Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
Ever marvel over friends, family members or colleagues who never seem to get sick? They breeze through flu epidemics, office stomach bugs and colds totally unscathed.
It truly makes you wonder: Is there a secret to outstanding health in the middle of the coughing, sneezing and miserably ill masses?
Absolutely. But you may be surprised as to the reasons.
Seven compelling healthy habits
In the general scheme of life, there really isn’t a magic bullet to great health, although there are certain habits that resilient individuals tend to adopt. Some may be familiar, others a bit more unexpected.
Robust people normally do not burn the midnight oil. Good sleep each night is the foundation for keeping the immune system in top form. Going to bed before 10 p.m. and eliminating exposure to light (especially from computer screens) encourages melatonin production — fostering sound and rejuvenating rest.
A nutrient-dense diet
Not surprisingly, those who avoid sickness almost always consume high quality food, rich in vitamin C and zinc. In the same way, limited sugar intake is also common. Since refined sugar suppresses the immune system, avoiding it makes sense. People who have strong health generally do not live off frappuccinos or candy bars. In return, they are rewarded with exceptional vitality.
Massage, yoga and acupressure
Stress is the bane of health which silently destroys the immune system. Studies have shown that people who frequently get sick are often the most stressed. Health savvy individuals realize that maintain well-being, stress needs to be managed. Massage is a good option. It lowers blood pressure and anxiety — effectively reducing tension and stress. Likewise for yoga. Acupressure is another technique known to boost immune response. One point on the body is particularly important — the thymus. This gland plays a crucial role in the functioning of the immune and lymphatic systems. To stimulate, gently tap the sternum with your index finger 50 times in the morning and evening.
While most of us cringe at the thought of a cold bath, especially in the heart of winter, research confirms that an icy dip significantly boosts the activity of white blood cells — thereby destroying invading bacteria, viruses and harmful pathogens. Cold showers help to support this defensive process as well. Those who are the most resilient to illness also have a tendency to use cold water to invigorate the system.
A positive attitude
Never underestimate the power of a sunny outlook. A study at the University of Kentucky found that participants who have an optimistic attitude demonstrated heightened cell-mediated immunity. When optimism dropped, so did immune response. As it turns out, the most hardy people also have a tendency to look at the bright side of life. If you need an infusion of positivity, a gratitude journal is a good place to start. Further tips on how to cultivate a grateful orientation can be found here.
Really, there is no need to succumb to all the nasty bugs this season. Armed with these seven habits, you too can be exceedingly robust, resilient and the envy of all those who are sniffling and sneezing away.