From the January blues to spring flu (common cold). There’s always one person in your group or at your workplace or in your family who seems immune to all illness.
While others around them take paracetamol and visit the doctor, they appear fit and healthy making you wonder what their secret is.
But are they being truthful? Why is it that some people appear immune to illness while others get sick every year?
Here are some of the reason why some of us always get ill and the changes you can make to avoid getting the common cold.
6 Tips to Prevent the Common Cold
We usually suffer from about 200 bouts of the common cold in our lifetime and every one lasts around five days. We are struck down by the flu an average of 16 times. Experts believe the better shape your body is in, the easier it is for you to fight off illness and infections. Research suggests people who exercise regularly have a reduced chance of getting ill, possibly because it boosts their immune system.
Inactivity can lead to a huge drop in white blood cell levels, the cells that help us fight off nasty bugs like the common cold, feeling fit and being active cuts the risk of having a cold by almost 50%, a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found.
There’s no way to take control of major factor that affects how you respond to viruses like the flu, and that is your genetic makeup. Scientists are trying to crack the genetic code to see exactly what some of our bodies do right to ward off illness, but for now, an inherited high white blood cell level is the best defence. Vaccines help to develop immunity to illnesses. They can also help to reduce the severity of the disease.
Keeping your hands clean
Washing your hands as often as possible could help to stay healthy. Research suggests that, on an average, we touch our faces 16 Times each hour; This transfers bacteria from dirty surface to our mouths, eyes and noses. Therefore, keeping hands clean by washing them with running water and soap is the first line of defence against getting sick. When saying hello to others, you could also consider adopting a more relaxed ‘Fist-pump’ greeting instead of a classic handshake. This transfers only half the bacteria, experts say.
The secret to staying well has to do with a balanced diet. Eating a healthy diet can help to boost your immune system, therefore increasing your chances of fighting viruses, evidence shows. According to a 2009 study in the journal of the American College of Nutrition, green tea can increase regularity T Cells and ramp up your defence against the flu by more than 30%. Dr William Schaffner, of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said, “Some people are simply healthier than others.”
Stress also negatively impacts our immune system. In large quantities over a period of time, cortisol, the stress hormone, suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system, experts say. If you are the type of person who gets stressed easily, then you may also be more susceptible to illness, researchers claim. Overtime severe stress can weak havoc on your immune system and leave you twice as likely to catch a cold, the journal proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences reports.
A good night’s rest
A regular sleep pattern could help you to stay healthy. If you get less than five and a half hours of sleep a night, you may find yourself being struck down with illnesses more than other people. This is because your chance of catching a cold is a staggering four and a half times greater than that of someone who sleeps for 6-7 hours a night. Dr Natalie riddle, spokesperson for the British society for immunology said, “It’s under the control of circadian rhythms and disturbing it can throw out your immune system.”