One of the few good things about getting older is that we usually become immune to more germs as the immune system comes into contact with more and more of them. That’s why adults and teens tend to get fewer colds than young children. Their bodies have learned to recognize and immediately attack many of the viruses that cause colds.
It might also be because as we grow older, we become more aware of how illness is spread, so we can take effective steps to avoid catching the cold and flu. Vaccinations, hand washing, using disinfecting wipes, coughing or sneezing into the bend of your elbow can help keep you safe, and others safe if you do fall ill.
Keeping your germs to yourselves by not going into work, and keeping the children at home until they are no longer infectious, are just a couple of things you can do to stop the spread of cold and flu every year.
Similarly, washing your hands well before and after you prepare food, after you have sneezed or blown your nose, and especially after using the restroom, can all prevent the spread of a range of nasty bugs.
Things that weaken the immune system:
- being overweight
- lack of sleep
- lack of enjoyments and relaxation
- lack of a good support network; feelings of loneliness and isolation
- poor diet
- lack of exercise
- smoking cigarettes
- taking too many antibiotics
- drinking too much alcohol
For example, if you are overweight or obese, it is time to slim down. Being overweight is bad for our health generally, but in particular for the immune system, for a number of reasons. The first is that the fat we hate on our belly, butt and thighs is not just unattractive. Scientists believe that excess fat in the body also releases a range of potentially toxic substances which can leave you open to illness, or even trigger it.
Toxic substances and chemicals we consume can also be stored in fatty tissue, making it doubly dangerous. These toxins might even accumulate over time, causing serious damage to the body.
Fat damages our metabolism as well, slowing it down, and thus making it even harder for you to lose weight. Exercising to build muscle will reduce your overall percentage of body fat. Lean muscle burns the calories you consume much more efficiently, improving your metabolism.
Being overweight is now being described as a persistent low level of chronic inflammation in the body. Therefore, doing all you can to get down to a normal, healthy weight can do a great deal to improve your overall health.