Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Viruses are a leading cause of illness in the world, and they can be difficult to combat. Taking preventative measures to avoid viral illnesses is a far better approach than trying to treat one that has already taken hold. Unfortunately, many people participate in regular behaviors that impair the immune system and make them more susceptible to viral infection.
Here are seven common behaviors that make you more likely to contract a virus, and what you can do instead.
1. Skimping on Fruits and Veggies can make you more susceptible to viruses
The high amounts of antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables can help rebuild damaged tissue and give your immune system a boost. They also help regulate hormones in the body, which is essential to its overall function. Without balance there, you can quickly lose vitality and fall victim to viruses and other infections.
The easiest way to avoid these issues is to increase the amount of fresh, whole foods in your diet while limiting the number of processed foods you consume. However, if you have neglected your diet for too long, adding multivitamin and hormone balance supplements can help get you back on track.
2. Drinking Excessively can make you more susceptible to viruses
Current research indicates that there are health benefits to drinking a glass of red wine with dinner. However, excessive drinking has serious, negative health consequences. Alcohol at those levels causes cellular damage that makes you more prone to acquiring viral infections.
Plus, if you do fall ill, alcohol impairs cells within the body from mounting an effective response, meaning you are more likely to develop serious illness. To avoid these complications, either avoid alcohol altogether or use it in moderation.
3. Worrying About the Details can make you more susceptible to viruses
Stress is unavoidable, but that doesn't give it the right to run roughshod over your life. There is strong evidence showing that stress weakens the immune system. Learn a few effective techniques to help you properly manage the stress in daily life.
These will also come in handy during especially difficult times since you will already have a coping mechanism established. Mindful meditation, body scanning and tai chi just a few of the possibilities you can explore.
4. Skipping Time With Friends can make you more susceptible to viruses
As naturally social creatures, humans are not meant to be isolated and alone. Unfortunately, many find themselves feeling that way. What makes that particularly alarming is the evidence that loneliness alters the immune response, making people more susceptible to illness and reducing longevity.
Invest time and effort in maintaining positive relationships, even if that means changing how you interact with friends. If you can't be together physically, use video chat apps to "see” each other instead.
5. Staying Up Late can make you more susceptible to viruses
Your body needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to fully recharge and keep its systems in balance. To avoid problems, polish up your sleep hygiene habits. Establish a nighttime routine that sees you getting to bed at about the same time each night. Colder temperatures are a signal for the body to rest, so turn the thermostat down a few degrees to help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.
6. Using Tobacco Products can make you more susceptible to viruses
Smoking and tobacco products are closely associated with certain health conditions. They lower the effectiveness of your immune response by compromising the circulatory and respiratory systems. As a result, smokers and those exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to develop severe illness from viruses.
If you don't smoke now, don't start. If you do, it may be time to look at quitting. Talk to your doctor about aids that can help make it easier.
7. Couch Surfing can make you more susceptible to viruses
It might seem like a good idea to spend your days lounging around, but it really wreaks havoc on your body. Instead of passively binge-watching your favorite shows from the past decade, add a little movement to them with TV-friendly exercises. Physical activity strengthens muscles and your cardiovascular system while making respiration more efficient. It can also improve gut health and fortify the immune system.
Honestly assess your behavior and, if you notice any of these habits, work toward correcting them. Your body will thank you.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.