How not to get sick?

When the body’s defenses are weakened, we get sick. The reasons for this process may be different, but the basis is disregard for the principles of a healthy lifestyle. From the book “One Habit a Week for the Whole Family”, 13 habits were selected that will improve health. Follow them and don’t get sick!

Water is vital to health. It is necessary for the metabolic processes of every cell in our body. It is she who makes up 60% of the weight of an adult and 70% of the weight of a child. Losing only 1–2% of body weight due to lack of water negatively affects emotional balance, cognitive function and physical performance. During the day, we constantly lose water due to breathing, sweating and the administration of the natural needs of the body.

You are exposed to hundreds of chemicals every day. And, as a rule, the liver copes with the processing of toxins, ensuring their exit from the body. Many chemicals that enter the body through the skin, respiratory tract (when sprayed) and the digestive tract have been proven to be toxic and unhealthy, but alas, they are still approved for use in cosmetics and household chemicals.

  • Make friends with the sun

The sun stimulates the skin to produce vitamin D. Vitamin D is important for bone health. This is especially true for children, since human bones develop up to thirty years, and calcium cannot be absorbed without vitamin D, which is necessary for many biological processes, including maintaining blood pressure, blood sugar levels and immunity. Cochrane Library data suggests that vitamin D reduces the risk of asthma and respiratory infections. Lack of vitamin D leads to depression and seasonal decline in performance.

Exercise is important for the health of both adults and children. People who exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from heart disease, and are less at risk of stroke, depression, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. Exercise reduces stress levels and reduces irritability. Muscles use energy from food without producing insulin, so exercise can lower blood sugar levels. Leading an active lifestyle strengthens your immune system, improves brain function, and maintains healthy muscles and bones.

  • Eat fruits and vegetables

They are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients that not only give plants their color (and sometimes protect them from being eaten by animals), but also help prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease. The positive effects that fruits and vegetables have on health are proven and unanimously recognized.

  • Get out into nature

Perhaps the best way to improve your health and improve your mood is to get out into nature. Many studies confirm that adults who spend a lot of time outdoors are mentally healthier, feel better, experience less stress, less anxiety, are less prone to depression, and have fewer cardiometabolic disorders.

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  • Declare war on refined sugar

Studies have linked excessive sugar consumption to numerous diseases and pathologies: overweight, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, cancer, mood disorders, asthma, gallstones, and so on. The less sugar children and parents consume, the lower the risk of preventable diseases.

  • More fish and seafood!

The custom of eating fish once a week is very beneficial. Fish is a source of high quality protein, low in saturated fat, but many important micronutrients: vitamins B12 and D, selenium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. Most importantly, fish and seafood are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • Down with artificial additives

Most ready-to-eat and convenience foods contain additives and preservatives to help keep food longer, improve its appearance and enhance its flavor. But a growing body of research indicates that some common nutritional supplements disrupt hormonal balance in the body, are carcinogenic, cause irreversible inflammation, and affect behavior and health.

  • Eat healthy fats

Our bodies use fat as a source of energy between meals. Without fat, the body does not assimilate fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K – it is with fats that they are delivered from the digestive system to the cells. The membranes that protect cells are composed of fat, it gives them flexibility and mobility. It also regulates the movement of important substances to and from cells and is involved in gene expression.

But not all fats are created equal. Trans fats, an industrial product found in many processed foods, cause heart disease. These fats should be avoided. Healthy fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, including omega-3 and omega-6 acids – improve our health.

Quality sleep is very important for health and longevity. During sleep, the immune system rebuilds and rejuvenates the body. In the brain, information is transformed into memories, new neural connections are formed that improve cognitive functions, help make the right decisions and develop creative thinking. During sleep, there are also processes that regulate emotions, mood and behavior.

  • Switch to organic products

Consumers and experts alike make countless arguments in favor of organic farming and animal husbandry. Such foods are tastier, richer in nutrients, and their production does not harm the environment. While some of the arguments presented are subjective and there is diverging evidence from various sources, scientific research provides compelling evidence that pesticide treatment is harmful to your health. Unless you live or work on a farm, food is your main source of pesticide pollution.

  • Take your health into your own hands

Let’s summarize. The habits that have helped people stay healthy since time immemorial are simple and straightforward. Eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise every day, sleep for eight hours, quit smoking, take vitamins, undergo medical examinations once a year, do whatever the doctor tells you, and sometimes break these rules.

There is one more factor that we did not mention. Its name is stress. This is what undermines the protective functions of the body literally in an instant. It is worth standing next to a sick person when you are tired and upset, as you catch the virus and start sneezing.

The main enemy of health

American actor George Burns, who lived to be 100 years old, said: “If you ask me what is the main secret of longevity, I will say: avoid worries, stress and tension. And if you don’t ask, I’ll say it anyway ”.

The discrepancy between reality and the ideal pictures imposed by the modern world, how your life should be arranged, constantly generates stress, write the authors of the Book of the Zozhnik. The German organization Techniken Krankenkasse, which deals with insurance and medical care, in the course of the study revealed that already now 8 out of 10 Germans are constantly experiencing stress, while the trend is alarming: over the years, people’s anxiety increases. About half of the respondents said that over the past three years, their lives have become more stressed.

At the same time, chronic stress not only interferes with the faster recovery and improvement of the body and mind, but also causes a decrease in immunity, as well as the development of many physical and mental illnesses. It is stress that is an important and growing problem of humanity along with information flows.

The urban lifestyle is stressful. A source

Here are some of the proven negative effects of stress.

  • Stress reduces brain volume

This conclusion was made by scientists from Yale University on the basis of a study of the brain of 103 healthy people. Scientists have recorded a decrease in gray matter in the area of ​​the brain responsible for emotions and the performance of physiological functions. They suspect that such a reaction may be the reason for the development of mental illness in the future.

  • Chronic stress increases the risk of diabetes

Scientists from the University of Gothenburg, after analyzing data from a study that lasted 35 years, found that constant stress contributes to the development of type 2 diabetes in men. Another study, published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine, found a link between stress and diabetes risk in women.

  • Stress increases your risk of heart attack

According to research, constant stress can increase the risk of heart attack by 27%. And in people who have already undergone it and continue to experience stress, the risk of a second heart attack within two years can increase by 42%.

Another study by University College London found that people who do strenuous work are 23% more at risk of developing a heart attack.

  • Chronic stress weakens the immune system

During times of stress, the body increases the production of the hormone cortisol. As a result, protective resources cannot fight infections and diseases at their full strength. For this reason, it is more difficult for a person under stress to recover and it is easier to contract a respiratory viral disease.

  • Stress brings aging closer

According to scientists, it is stress that is one of the reasons for the approach of old age. All the fault of telomeres – the parts of the chromosome, which are responsible for the possibility of cell division and, as a result, for life expectancy. Telomeres shorten with each cell division; with age, division stops and the cell dies. According to many researchers, stress can accelerate telomere shortening.

Stress takes away health and youth. A source

  • Negative perceptions of stress are much more dangerous than stress itself.

By its very nature, stress is not a difficult situation or problem itself, but how we perceive it. Professor David Almeida of Pennsylvania State University argues that people who, although they are in a stressful situation, but do not perceive it as such, are less prone to developing diseases than those who find their life stressful.

It is impossible, and not necessary, to completely eliminate stress from life, but it is important to learn to act in them with minimal losses for mental and physical health. It has been scientifically proven that meditation or, for example, qigong and tai chi classes can help manage stress. Routine strength training can also reduce tension levels and help cope with its effects.

There are many ways to deal with stress. Some of them are related to distraction: for example, watching a funny TV series or reading books. Some – with food, for example, in one study, people who ate chocolate had lower cortisol levels than those who did not.

Do not neglect professional help if you feel that stress is a serious problem for you. Psychologists can help you deal with attitudes that are bothering you, which in itself will reduce stress levels.

To successfully deal with stress, you should listen to yourself more, be able to be aware of your condition and feelings and understand what causes them. Creating a healthy lifestyle, eating habits, and exercising should above all bring you joy and certainly not add stress to your life.

Based on materials from the books “One Habit a Week for the Whole Family”, “The Book of the Zozhnika”

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