Simple Daily Habit Tweaks for a Healthier You

By Helen Holmes on June 28, 2012

Did you know that just by making small changes in your daily habits, you can strengthen your immunity against disease-causing germs? Having smart choices from your breakfast to your workout routine and leisure, you can improve your health in many different ways.

Green Tea to Warm-up Your Day

What’s your usually breakfast? Are you used to drinking coffee? Do you prefer to have a glass of orange juice or a smoothie? In a study by the Harvard University, experts found that people who drink tea during breakfast respond to germs five times than those who had coffee. Green tea is a great source of antioxidants which boost your body’s defence system. The EGCG, a compound found in green tea has anti-inflammatory properties that promote stronger immune system. You can make your tea more appetising and healthier by squirting some lemon juice.

Choose slow-paced exercises

Experts recommend moderate exercises like a 4-mile jog over high-impact exercises. According to Dr Mary Miles from Montana State University in Bozeman, vigorous workout routines are not advisable as they can wear your body down, making your immune system poorer. The intensity of the exercise you choose must depend on how well your body responds to it. Some people can exercise six times a week without prejudicing their health while others can’t.

Add more mushrooms in your salad

When it comes to germs, no other vegetables can do it than mushrooms. According to research, mushrooms have antibacterial and antiviral properties that aid in fighting infections. Choose fresh mushrooms for your salad because only the fresh ones contain vitamin D. To fight infections, your body needs sufficient dose of vitamin D. You can buy fresh button mushrooms in the supermarket. They are cheap yet rich in vitamins and minerals. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, you can simply take multivitamin that contains 600 international units of vitamin D on a daily basis.

Sleep for seven hours or more

Many people ignore the value of sleeping, not realising that they are potentially harming themselves. In a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it was revealed that people who sleep less than 6 hours a day are more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep for at least 8 hours. Dr. Chandler of Mount Sinai explained that not getting enough sleep disrupts our body’s natural circadian rhythm which in turn obstructs the production of hormones that strengthen our immunity. Sufficient sleep also helps people maintain their weight.

Have a glass of water after dinner instead of wine or beer

Alcohol of any kind, according to Dr. Gerbstadt, spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, reduces your white blood cell count, making you more susceptible to viral diseases. Alcohol works like toxin which slows down the body’s normal repair process and prevents the absorption of nutrients, she explained. So if you feel like drinking, choose non-alcohol drinks.

Have some nuts and fruits to revive your energy

If you think that vitamin-enhanced water and some chocolate chips will give you the energy you need to keep working, think again. To revive your energy level, munch on some fresh nuts and fruits and don’t fill your body with sugar. Too much sugar also lowers down your white blood cell count, making you more vulnerable to bacteria.

Have fun with your friends

You might be busy and all but it doesn’t mean that you can no longer have fun. Spending quality time with friends makes you stay healthy, reported a study published in the British Medical Journal. The researchers found that a cheery friend increases one’s happiness by 9%.

Relax with your favourite song playing

In another research, patients under anaesthesia experienced an improvement from stress when their favourite songs were played while in the operating room. Any music will do actually, said the study authors. Other than listening to music, you can also benefit from laughing out loud. In a study by the Loma Linda University, chuckling along with a humorous video increases the production of natural killer cells that protect your body from viral diseases and cancers by 14%.

By adopting these simple routines, you can say hello to a healthier and happier life.

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