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Year after year, season after season, the same illnesses seem to come back around. Sometimes they can be very difficult to avoid, especially if you work in close quarters with other people. Try the following tips to avoid common illnesses (such as the common cold, flu, and bronchitis) in adults:
1. Reduce your Stress to Fight Illnesses
Stress and illnesses go hand in hand. Reducing any stress in your life will result in several positive effects, not least of which is that you’ll reduce the likelihood of your becoming ill.
If you’re prone to cold sores, for example, stress can cause the onset of an outbreak. Reducing your stress levels might sound difficult, especially if you have a busy work or family life, but you owe it to yourself to try your best to stay calm.
You might like to try meditation or yoga to fight illnesses if you need a little help – or you can simply complete any activity that brings you relaxation and joy, whether that’s reading, sports, or even just watching television at the end of a long day.
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Spend Time in Nature
If you want to enjoy the outdoors and feel less stressed, you can choose to go for a walk or take up swimming – but if you’re looking for an activity closer to home, why not try gardening?
Men and women can both benefit from looking after their own gardens. Nurturing and maintaining plants – especially vegetables or fruit – can save you money on produce, provide an excellent introduction to nature for the kids, and give adults something to do outside of the house.
Plenty of commonly-grown plants and herbs are great for your immune system to fight illnesses: peppermint, thyme, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic are great easy-to-grow options.
If you’re not sure where to start, you could use a grow tent, which helps organize your gardening in small spaces and protects your plants so they can fulfill their potential.
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Eat and Rest Well
A body running on junk food and soda won’t do the best job of protecting you from airborne diseases. Your immune system will function much more smoothly to fight illnesses if you look after your body – including fuelling it with nourishing food and plenty of water.
Drinking plenty of clean water helps your body digest food, flush away toxins and waste, and keeps the bacteria in your gut at a healthy level.
Try your best to ensure you get enough quality sleep – letting yourself relax and rest for at least eight hours every night allows your body to best repair and restore itself, especially after a long day or week. You also need sleep to keep your immune system as strong as possible – if you don’t get enough sleep, your body will find it harder to resist and recover from exposure to viruses.
Avoid Drinking Alcohol
Excess alcohol consumption can negatively affect your immune system for up to twenty-four hours after entering the body, so if you are at particular risk of getting sick or contracting illnesses, it’s best to either avoid drinking alcohol entirely or drink only in moderation. You will be less likely to pick up any nasty illnesses, and your body will thank you for it.
Get Regular Exercise
Getting regular Exercise can help your immune system by flushing out bacteria. You don’t have to hit the gym six times a week, but try to spend at least 30 minutes a day 3 times per week exercising – especially if your lifestyle usually involves a lot of sitting.
There are many ways you can squeeze a workout into your busy days, and you don’t even need equipment. Try walking or biking to your workplace, or taking the stairs at work instead of the lift.
Instead of watching tv or catching up in a sitting position, encourage your family and friends to spend time with you playing fun, active games of tennis or basketball, or by doing other outdoor activities such as hiking. Try your best to walk more, whether you’re heading to the shops, waiting at the airport, or meeting clients in town.
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Encourage Co-workers or Employees to Stay Home if They’re Sick
The less you are exposed to sick people, the less likely you are to become sick yourself or be exposed to illnessses. Unfortunately, in our work-obsessed culture, staying home when sick is often seen as either unnecessary or as letting the rest of the team down.
This means everyone else in the office is liable to catch the sick employee’s cold! When you’re sick, you should always stay home and rest. Show your co-workers or employees that such a choice is normal and encourage them to do the same, should they become ill.
Avoiding common illnesses altogether is difficult, but you can do plenty of things to reduce your chances of catching them. Do your physical and mental health a favour and follow the above tips which will help protect you against illness.
Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who is passionate about nature, the outdoors, and living a healthy lifestyle.
When she’s not hiking and camping with friends, you’ll find her reading a good book on a quiet Sunday afternoon, sipping her favourite cup of tea. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.