1. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep isn’t just necessary so that your body can rest. When you’re sleeping, your body kick-starts your immune system and helps it learn to fight new diseases and infections. Not getting enough sleep means that your body doesn’t have the opportunity to boost your immune system, so make sure that your family gets at least 7-8 hours of continuous sleep daily.
2. Lack of exercise
Did you know that upper respiratory tract infections in people who don’t exercise tend to last 42% longer compared to people who exercise? This means that even if you get sick, if you live a healthy lifestyle then you’ll recover faster from your illness compared to someone who has a more sedentary lifestyle.
Try and encourage your family to exercise. You can make it into a fun bonding activity for the family!
3. Not having a healthy diet
These days, it’s more convenient to just buy take out meals or buy canned food instead of preparing it from scratch. However, not having enough healthy food can impact your immune system negatively. Eating processed or take out food is okay once in a while, but eating those types of food on a daily basis can really make you sick.
Fresh vegetables and fruits are always important for good health.
4. Vices and other bad health habits
Smoking and drinking are bad for your health. In addition to weakening your immune system, these vices have also been known to cause cancer and other illnesses. Secondhand smoke can also affect your kids and they can get sick as a result.
Alcohol also suppresses your immune system and makes your white blood cells less capable of fighting infection.
If you or a family member smokes or drinks, it might be a good idea to quit and try to live a healthier lifestyle.
5. Feeling lonely
According to studies, your body creates more of the hormone norepinephrine, which boosts production of white blood cells. But the bad news is that it also shuts down the virus-fighting part of your immune system, which can leave you prone to infections and illnesses.
If you feel sad or lonely, try to reach out to your loved ones and spend some time with them. Humans are social beings, and it’s important for us to be surrounded by people we love and care about.
Stress from work, stress from school, and stress caused by all sorts of problems can have a negative impact your family’s immune system. Studies have shown that people under constant stress have a higher chance of getting sick, and this means that as you get more stressed out, your immune system weakens.
Take the time to relax, rest, or do some fun things once in a while. Lowering your stress levels is good for you and your family’s health.
7. Taking too many antibiotics
These days, a lot of people take antibiotics at the slightest sign of infection. Some people even take antibiotics at the slightest sign of a cold or flu.
While antibiotics do help fight infection, they can also reduce your white blood cells and immune system boosting proteins. This means that even if the antibiotics help you recover faster, your immune system will be more vulnerable after.
It’s always best to consult a doctor first before taking any antibiotics since your body’s immune system can usually fight off most common infections and diseases on its own.
8. Not washing your hands
While not directly related to your immune system, frequent handwashing can significantly reduce the chances that you and your family will get infected with a disease.
So it’s important to make sure your family washes their hands regularly to avoid getting sick in the first place.
Source: health.harvard.edu, rd.com
READ: 10 Delicious snacks for kids that boost the immune system