Friday 01 April 2016 9:30pm
She’s smiling because she doesn’t have to carry around cough sweets (Picture: Getty)
Every office has one: that one magical person who NEVER has to take a sick day.
The one who miraculously manages to avoid the bug that’s got everyone else sniffling. The one who never looks exhausted because unlike you, they haven’t been up all night coughing.
We can all quietly resent that person, or we can become like them. Here are the things people with a great immune system claim they do.
- They exercise
Sorry, but it’s true. Exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system.
Getting the blood pumping improves immune function. It’s just a fact of life we need to embrace.
- They’re topped up on Vitamin D
Either through plenty of safe exposure to sunlight, stocking up on oily fish, eggs and fortified cereals which all contain Vitamin D, or a supplement. Forget the obsession with vitamin C – it’s still a good idea to ensure you get enough, but vitamin D is proven to support your immune system.
Get some sun (Picture: PA)
- They have a set bedtime
Does saying you have a bedtime make you feel a little like a toddler? Yes. But it’ll be worth it when you’re well-rested and feeling amazing.
You don’t need to be asleep by 9.30pm every night. Just choose a time that works for you, and then try to stick to it to avoid making your body and internal clock feel a bit confused.
- They eat a rainbow
Again, it’s not all about oranges. Eat loads of fruit and veg in a range of colours for added variety.
- They schedule in relaxing time
Stress does a load of damage to your health, but trying to say stress-free by occasionally watching TV or sticking on a face mask might not do the trick.
Really healthy people tend to be strict and designate a set period of time to focusing on relaxing, putting as much of a priority on their mental and physical health as their time at work.
- They nap
As well as offsetting some of the damage done by a bad night’s sleep, naps have been shown to improve immune function. Taking a nap might not be doable during the week, but go ahead and have a short afternoon rest at the weekend. It’s good for you.
The occasional nap will improve immune function (Picture: Getty)
- They get fresh air
Sounds like something your mum would say, but seriously. Getting outside will do you a world of good. People with healthier immune systems tend to spend some time outdoors every day, whether it’s walking to work or eating lunch in the park.
- They wash their hands properly
Not just a quick rinse. A proper lather with soap, in between the fingers and under the nails. Wash ’em before every meal and after every trip to the bathroom, please. Hand sanitiser is no substitute for a good wash.
Lather up. (Picture: Getty)
- They don’t smoke
Yep, you’ll need to quit if you want to achieve that healthier immune system.
- And they rarely over-drink
Don’t worry, you don’t need to go tee-total. But excessive alcohol consumption – meaning loads of big nights – will reduce immune function and leave you feeling poorly. And hungover.
- They have massages
Oh, an easy one. This is all about reducing stress levels to make sure your immune system stays on top of its game.
We’re not saying you should be lounging in luxury every day, but try treating yourself to a massage every few weeks to feel amazing.
Treat yourself. (Picture: Urban Massage)
- They take multivitamins
Another really easy thing to add in to your daily routine. Downing a load of vitamins the second you get sick is unlikely to be much help. But popping a vitamin each morning can do you good over time.
- They’ve got great dental hygiene
Often forgotten, but you really do need to take care of your mouth to avoid infection. Brush, floss, and always rinse with mouthwash.
Your teeth will be healthy – which is great in itself – but you’ll also be less likely to fall victim to a sore throat and lingering coughing fits.
- And they spend time with friends
Don’t forget to enjoy the benefits of your healthier immune system! Don’t get into a health-obsessive spiral; catch up with your friends, stay relaxed, and enjoy some flu-free fun.