Our immune system keeps colds, flu, and more serious ailments at bay. It’s our best friend, but oftentimes, we act like it’s our worst enemy.
It’s also low maintenance. You don’t need a lot of complicated stuff to keep it healthy, but you also don’t need to do much to wreck it. These are five surefire ways to lower your immune system and expose yourself to all sorts of illness:
Don’t sleep enough
Countless studies have already shown how poor sleep damages our immunity. For instance, researchers at the University of Chicago has shown that men who had only four hours of sleep each night for one week produced only half of the amount of flu-killing antibodies that those with 7 to 8 hours of sleep produced.
While we sleep, our cells regenerate, and our body replenishes itself. With poor quality or quantity of sleep, the natural process of regeneration gets interrupted. What you get is a lower immune system resulting in colds and flu.
Never have fun
Laughing has been found to lower stress hormones and activate or increase the production of some immune cells. Researchers at Loma Linda University School of Medicine found that after watching a funny video for an hour, healthy adults had significant increases in their immune system activity.
So taking a break from work and letting yourself relax and laugh with your coworkers may not be such a good idea if you want to damage your immune system.
Hang around smokers
Here’s another effective way of hampering your immune system. You know that smoking cigarette is bad for your body, but exposure to secondhand smoke is almost as harmful. In fact, 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die each year of lung cancer. Another 300,000 children acquire lower respiratory tract infections due to secondhand smoke.
To keep your immune system healthy, avoid hanging around people while they’re smoking. If it can’t be helped, cover your nose with a handkerchief. They will surely understand.
Sit all day
They say that sitting is the new smoking, and there’s some truth behind it. Sitting keeps you in a dormant state and does nothing for your physical strength. Exercising, even a few physical activity, can do wonders for your immunity.
Researchers once compared inactive people to those who regularly engaged in brisk walking. They found that the couch potatoes took twice as many sick days within four months as those who walked regularly.
To counteract this, all it takes is 30 minutes of any form of aerobic exercise. This should be enough to sweep white blood cells back into circulation, keeping your immune system in tiptop shape.
A large body of research has established the link between immune system and quality of foods that we eat. Our immunity weakens due to lack of vitamins, minerals, protein, and calories, so a diet consisting mainly of junk foods will directly damage our immune system. For a balanced diet, eat a lot of fresh fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats.
There are so many ways to wreck your immune system with so little thought. Our modern society has made it a lot easier to engage in the above mentioned activities, so if we’re not intentional in restoring health for our immune system, we will always be exposed to so many sicknesses.