Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

8 Steps to Avoid Infections & Stay Healthy

Even the healthiest of people get sick every now and then. But by fine-tuning certain aspects of your health routine, such as diet, healthy lifestyle, and stress management, you can help strengthen your immune system’s defense against bacteria, toxic chemicals, and viruses that cause conditions like the common cold and flu.

Here are eight best ways to avoid infections and support your immune system naturally.

  1. Eat a well-balanced diet. The immune system depends on many vitamins and minerals for optimal function.  A good rule is to eat 10-15 calories per pound of “desired body weight.” If your ideal weight is 170 lbs, then consume 1700-2550 calories a day (1700 for sedentary individuals and 2550 for extremely active types.)
  2. Avoid rapid weight loss. Low-calorie diets, long-term fasting and rapid weight loss have been shown to impair immune function. Losing weight while training heavily is not good for the immune system.
  3. Wash your hands frequently. This is often your best prevention. Don’t forget your fingernails.
  4. Avoid putting your hands near your eyes, nose or mouth. Most bacteria and germs are spread from a surface to your hands to your face not by air.
  5. Get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can reduce immune functioning making you susceptible to sickness.
  6. Drink more water. In the fall and winter, it is easy to overlook your thirst and get dehydrated. Make sure you consume 8 glasses a day.
  7. Continue a moderate exercise program. Try to maintain a consistent exercise routine
  8. Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can be dehydrating which, in turn, may decrease your resistance to bacteria.

Finally, listen to your body. If you are less than 100% you will feel better and recover faster if you let yourself rest.

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Category: Allergy
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