Keeping Up on Illness Prevention

Every time a new infection or strain hits the news I see lists of things go up on social media recommending hilariously inaccurate life hacks and prevention tips that, at best, usually do nothing. And at worst can actually be harmful. With yet another contagious disease in the news, let’s get a list of things you can do regularly that really do work for illness prevention!

1) Maintain good nutrition all year round!  While most of the “megadosing” solutions out there have been debunked, all this means is that excessive beneficial nutrients are not useful or necessary in general. But this does not discount that you still need to hit your daily recommendation for all nutrients to keep your body functioning at peak. Your body needs to be fully supplied to fight off infection at its best. And poor nutrition sacrifices this in a way that short term “megadosing” cannot counteract!

2) Keep up on regular fitness routines!  While precise mechanism is unclear, we find those who keep up regular fitness regimens in general seem to have less infection risk. This could relate to the effects of exercise on stress which plays a large role in immune function. General improvement in cardiovascular health may place reduced strain on the body’s systems for upkeep. This allows infection fighting to be more efficient. Though the reasons are unclear, the result is! Keep up on daily exercise!

3) Watching your stress levels logically follows. Chronic stress has a profound effect on immune function. And while again the mechanisms are complex, stress management does not have to be! This can be affected by participation in recreational activities, regular down time, maintaining balance to avoid high pressure crunches at home and work, and counseling as necessary! Our mental health affects our physical health, so make sure you are taking care of yourself!

4) Maintain your hygiene! While hand sanitizers are a good stopgap during the day between contacts, nothing compares to a regular wash.  Washing your hands thoroughly and regularly is one of the most proven ways to avoid many infections and illnesses. It also cannot be overstated!  Wash wash wash wash wash!

Nothing crazy, right? Eat right, stay active, manage stress, and wash up! While everybody can get sick, these basic four things can keep a lot of the more common things at bay. So take good care of yourself and work on that illness prevention!