|Stay Well Secrets
How not to get sick when everyone around you already is
Did you know one sneeze somewhere crowded like a railway station escalator could infect up to 150 people in as little as five minutes via people breathing in the droplets or touching those that land on the handrail. However, for that bug to then turn into sneezes, sniffles and misery, it has to enter your body and get past your immune system unscathed. Some people never get sick so what can you do be like them?
Keep Your Nose Warm
Our nose is colder, and that cooling of the nose lowers resistance to infection. So, if it's really chilly, place a scarf over your nose to keep it warm.
Scope Out The Sneezers
Recent research has found that you're most likely to catch a cold or flu on a plane from a sick person sitting within two seats in any direction. Spotting them and repositioning yourself further away may help lower the risk of infection. Sweating, pale skin, red nose, sneezing and coughing are the classic signs that someone has a cold.
Boost Your Vitamin D
According to research, you're twice as likely to come down with a cold if you're exposed to the bugs when levels of vitamin D in your blood are low. Boost your vitamin-D by getting the sun on your face, hands and arms two to three hours a week. If you suspect you're still deficient, ask your doctor to test you in case you need a supplement.
Try Not To Lie
Feeling guilty has been shown to lower your immune defences but, also the body language a person uses when lying can increase their chance of spreading germs. The average person tells four lies a day. One of the major giveaways is that the person touches their nose, face and eyes, which during flu season increases the chances of you passing the bug into your system. A clever tip? Painting your fingernails red may keep your hands away from your face as it helps you spot when your fingers are getting near your face.
Exercise, But Not Too Much
The right amount of exercise revs up your immune system by enhancing the activity of natural killer cells, which force any cells infected with cold or flu viruses to commit suicide. However, exercise too much and this reaction slows down. The high blood levels of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, and anti-inflammatory cytokines, interleukins 6 and 10, that occur during prolonged strenuous exercise can cause the depression of immune functions. An hour or less of hard exercise is fine, any more than that, and you need to be careful.
Know Your Menstrual Cycle
You're almost three times as likely to catch a cold around ovulation than during any other part of your cycle. Exactly why, isn't known. One theory is that just as oestrogen thins the mucus of the cervix, it also thins the mucus that protects the nose, helping viruses take hold. If you're reaching ovulation, be particularly careful about things like too much stress, skipping sleep or high-sugar diets that will stop your immune system kicking into action as effectively as it should.
Keep Your Hands Clean
We're the 'touch generation', we touch more communal surfaces than any generation in history and the hand is quicker than the sneeze in the spread of disease. Some of the most touched items include ATMs, lift buttons, escalator handrails, gizmos in places like technology stores and pens in the bank. Avoid touching these where possible or at least scrub up or use antibacterial hand gel soon afterwards.
Research found pregnant women who consume at least seven servings of fruit and vegetables a day were 26 per cent less likely to develop colds and flu than women eating much less and it's likely to work on non-pregnant women, too! If colds do hit, a diet high in fruits, reduced the duration of cold symptoms. Sore throats were cut from 5-4 days to two, while head congestion lasted less than a day.
Invest In A Humidifier
The dryer the air, the more likely it is that you'll pick up a flu bug. It could be because flu virus droplets collect more water in humid air and simply fall to the floor faster. This makes us far more likely to breathe them in, or pick them up on our hands.
Nibble Some Raisins
Not only are they a good source of iron, which aids immunity, but spending five to seven minutes nibbling on a handful of raisins while focusing on the taste, smell, texture, the movement of your mouth, as you chew, is one of the simplest ways to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness – the technique of living in the now has been proven to raise immunity. Being mindful has been shown to lower stress and reduce the risk of depression, which is an added bonus as further research shows that people with depression have a higher risk of contracting colds, possibly because depression creates changes in the immune system.
Put A Metre Between You & Your Friend
At least then if they sneeze or cough, the droplets are less likely to reach you. If we developed the same sense of social responsibility about colds and flu that they have in Japan, transmission rates would fall. There, if someone has a cold, they wear a face mask to stop infecting people; in most other countries, we just soldier on.
If you're diabetic, you're also more susceptible to gum disease? If you have gum disease it can make diabetes worse. This is because glycaemia control is harder if you have an infection – which is what gum disease is. By looking after the health of your mouth, gums and teeth, you're also looking after the rest of your body.
1. Make regular visits to your dentist – they can detect gum disease and suggest treatment.
2. Use an anti-microbial toothpaste daily to get rid of the bugs on your teeth (such as plaque) that cause gum disease.
3. Brush twice a day for at least two minutes and floss at night time (when saliva flow decreases).
Soft Drink Linked To Lung Disease
Sugary drinks may be tied to asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a latest research has found. People who consumed at least a half a litre of soft drinks a day were more than twice as likely to develop either lung conditions, compared with those who didn't drink them at all. Try these tips for cutting out soft drinks.
· Keep a big jug of iced water in the fridge and stir in fresh mint, lemon or lime for flavour.
· One 600ml bottle of soft drink contains about 12 teaspoons of sugar. Fill up empty bottles with the same amount of sugar and leave them lying around – they should be a sobering sight.