Today's title is a little play on the phrase "habit forming." Get it? And if you've been reading my Daily Messages the past couple of days, you know I've been talking about ways to boost those immune systems of yours. You should think of that immune system as your body's very own Superman or Superwoman, for that matter. When you get sick or suffer an injury, God forbid, your immune system will be there to help save the day. Which is why you want to be sure you're living the kind of lifestyle that helps your immune system do its job and...do it well. Yesterday, I talked about how important a healthy & balanced diet is to boosting your immune system. Today, I want to talk about some other good habits that will help fire-up your immune system just as much.
Getting enough sleep is important for so many reasons.
Things like getting enough sleep. I don't think a lot of people know how important it is to get enough sleep. But get this, sufficient sleep appears to help our immune systems fight off viruses. The Laboratory for the Study of Stress, Immunity and Disease at Pittsburgh's excellent Carnegie Mellon University conducted a study. In it, they tracked 164 people's sleep habits for a week, then infected each of them with a rhinovirus (which can cause colds). Those people who slept less than six hours per night were significantly more likely to develop a cold than those who slept more than seven hours each night. How much sleep do you get? Aim for 7-8 hours each night. According to Carnegie Mellon's study, it's a good amount of sleep to keep that immune system of yours in top working order. (Not to mention how refreshed and ready-to-go you'll be the next morning.)
Regular exercise may lessen the likelihood of upper respiratory infections.
Awww, SWEAT! That's right, as in...EXERCISE! Physical activity may lessen the likelihood of upper respiratory infections and the severity of symptoms if you should happen to come down with one. That's because following a dedicated exercise program may give you those benefits by reducing inflammation in your body. Try to get in a full hour of exercise each day, like I've been telling you to do for over 40 years now. Three days a week of cardio-exercise alternated with three days of strength-training, plus the seventh day for walking and hey, you're good!
And oh yeah, one more thing...kick some butt! No, no...I'm not telling you to be mean to anyone! LOL. The kind of butt I'm talking about is that nasty-old smoking habit. If you smoke cigarettes...give 'em up! Not only does smoking tobacco, including exposure to secondhand smoke, increase your risk for lung cancer and heart disease, smoking makes it more difficult for your immune system to fight off invading organisms. Thank goodness so many cities are outlawing smoking in public places.
Eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and quitting smoking are good habits you need to form.
So there you have it, my friends. Eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly and quitting smoking are four good habits you really need to form. And if you have already, hey, I know I can say, when it comes to your good health, your body's immune system will be stronger and ready to help...save the day!