No one likes to be sick. Whether it’s a sniffle, an annoying cough, or perhaps something more serious, illness can throw a wrench in anyone’s plans. If you find yourself getting sick frequently, don’t just sit back and let it happen. Think about whether you might be falling victim to the following bad habits that can leave you susceptible to viruses and bacteria:
- A poor diet: It’s no secret that the nutrients you get from food can improve your overall health. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — and low in processed or high sugar foods — can help your body stave off illnesses. Everything from the common cold to certain cancers can be at least partially prevented by following a healthy diet. Foods have nutrients and phytochemicals not found in vitamin supplements, so get the real thing and don’t worry about taking pills.
- No regard for handwashing: Washing your hands is the single best way to avoid catching illnesses from others — yet many people still don’t do it often enough. Hand washing is important after using the bathroom, but also before eating or touching your face, after touching shared surfaces like door handles, and if you’ve been around someone who is ill.
- Consistent lack of sleep: Studies show that not getting enough shut-eye makes you more susceptible to the common cold. Every system in your body needs sleep to function at its best, including your immune system. Make it a priority to get at least seven hours a night.
- Chronic stress: Multiple studies have shown that stress can affect your immune system. If you’re chronically stressed, your body’s defenses will be down. Not to mention, common side effects of stress are lack of sleep and a poor diet (see above), which can compound the problem.
- Having children, or working around kids: Parents, teachers, and others who spend a lot of time around young children can tell you that they share germs frequently. Coughing and sneezing without covering their noses and mouths, touching their faces, and putting their hands in their mouths all add up to high risk of contracting illnesses. From the common cold to the dreaded stomach viruses, kids, by their nature, tend to spread illness more frequently than other populations. To help combat this, encourage them to cough or sneeze into their sleeves, not hands, and make handwashing a habit. Keep hand sanitizer around too, for yourself and the children.
Remember to also see your primary care physician as recommended for routine screenings, tests, and to discuss any health questions you may have. This is an important part of your overall health and well-being.
CarePoint Health Primary Care
Your primary care physician can help you manage your healthcare, and answer any questions you have about your health. Your PCP will help you navigate your well visits and specialist care throughout your life, and will be your health care advocate. To find a skilled primary care physician at CarePoint Health, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.