Following the recent outbreak of COVID-19 omicron, people are taking extra precautions to stay healthy.
Practice social distancing and hand washing for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of the virus. Besides, you should bolster your immune system to fight germs. Feeling fatigued, getting sick, or suffering from other symptoms you cannot explain may state a weak immune system.
Keeping a robust immune system involves adopting healthy habits and quitting bad habits. Let's look at the top 10 habits that impact immunity daily.
Habit # 1: Sleep Deprivation
Are you a night owl? Do you have insomnia? Sleep deprivation can damage your immune system and increase your risk for heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. A lack of sleep will also make it more difficult for you to recover from an illness. Sleep is the only time your body releases immune-supporting cytokines. While you sleep, you refuel and heal. Prior studies found a link between sleep restriction and obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.
Develop a good sleeping habit. Every night try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Sleep seven to nine hours a day if you can. Remember the saying, "The early bird gets the worm."
Habit # 2: Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Having a glass of wine a day can have heart-health benefits. Yet, excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages can negate the benefits of moderate consumption. Additionally, not all alcoholic drinks are as beneficial as wine.
Alcohol impedes the immune system because the body cannot process them. Overconsumption of alcohol slows digestion, depletes vitamin storage, and reduces white blood cell production. In the case of moderate alcohol consumption, all these factors contribute to the poor immunity of alcoholics.
Don't forget that at your next party.
Habit # 3: Excessive Sugar Intake
Due to sugar's ability to prevent vitamin C from entering white blood cells, white blood cells lose their ability to kill germs. Within 30 minutes of ingestion, sugar depresses the immune system. You can please your sweet tooth by eating fruits such as oranges, apples, mangoes, watermelons, and others. Moreover, these fruits are high in vitamin C, which will help your immune system to work more effectively.
Habit # 4: Smoking
Tobacco has no limits. Cigarettes contain more than 250 toxic substances, such as ammonia, arsenic, nicotine, and toluene. Smoking affects all human body systems, including the immune system, since the human body cannot process chemicals as potent and destructive as cigarettes. It increases cortisol levels, decreases B cell antibody production, and decreases T cell response to antigens. According to a report published last February in PLOS One, e-cigarette vapor damages lung tissue and makes it more susceptible to infection. If you are tired of wasting your PTO days due to illness, now is the time to stop smoking for good.
Habit # 5: Inadequate Water Intake
Food plays a minor role in immunity than water. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water a day, depending on the climate where you live. Human cells consist primarily of water, and it performs many functions. Getting enough water to replenish your body's needs will bolster your immune system. A healthy immune system is highly dependent on hydration.
Habit # 6: Sedentary Lifestyle
Regular aerobic exercise appears to help fight viruses and bacteria. Partly because it allows blood to circulate more efficiently, ensuring germ-fighting substances reach their target areas. Scientists are still researching the exact mechanism through which exercise boosts your immunity.
Sedentary lifestyles are harmful to everyone's health. Sports and exercise activate the body's immune system, combating viral and bacterial infections and decreasing the risk of chronic diseases like osteoporosis, arthritis, and heart disease. By exercising, you reduce stress, produce antibodies and white blood cells, and raise your body temperature, which reduces the chances of bacteria growing on you.
Habit # 7: Excessive Stress
Have you ever been sick after a stressful work project? Stress weakens the immune system, according to the American Psychological Association.
Stress lowers the body's lymphocytes, which fight infections. Viruses, including the common cold, can spread through low lymphocyte levels.
Ultimately, chronic stress and sleep deprivation trigger similar responses. We might not realize it, but our everyday responsibilities' physical and emotional demands can drain our immune system's capacity to fight off bacteria and viruses. Since the body is constantly repairing damage caused by stress, it has limited resources to fight pathogens that invade it.
Habit # 8: Not Washing Hands
The act of not washing your hands isn't exactly detrimental to your immune system. Still, your immune system is constantly putting up a fight when you don't wash your hands frequently. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we should all have grasped the importance of continuing to wash our hands.
Habit # 9: Eating Junk Food
What if I told you that eating a hamburger is like swallowing a load of harmful bacteria? When you consume fat, salt, and carbohydrates, your immune system overdrive. Some studies have shown that poor nutrition may negatively affect our health in the long run.
Excessive consumption of junk food can harm your immunity. Junk food contains plenty of fat, one of the leading causes of obesity. White blood cells' ability to multiply and produce antibodies is affected by obesity, but a diet high in saturated fats harms the immune system even before it manifests symptoms. As a result, you are more likely to fall ill. Cut back on fast food and choose a healthy diet instead.
Habit # 10: Solitary Lifestyle
In light of all this talk about contagious people, it may seem tempting to become a hermit, but this can have serious side effects. A study published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology found that loneliness suppresses the immune system and leads to oxidative stress and free radical damage.
Aside from avoiding people, avoiding human connections may also impair your immune system. Social relationships influence our mental health, health behavior, and immunity. Almost twice as many people suffer serious illnesses and premature deaths with poor social relationships, and social interactions are vital to good health.
No matter how you feel about social interaction, being a part of society has health benefits.
The immune system will be adversely affected if there is a lack of inner peace, stress, anxiety, etc. To boost your immunity, you must manage these factors and find happiness in your life.