If you listen to this show, then you know the best way to avoid colds and flu is to wash your hands as often as possible. If you’re still getting sick, experts say the reason could be your bad health habits. Here’s the latest research into some surprising habits that can weaken your immune system, and make you more vulnerable to germs:
- Bad habit #1: You don’t argue enough. A new UCLA study found that couples who argue, experience the same health benefits as going for a brisk walk! That’s because arguing gets the heart racing enough to pump more immunity-boosting cells through the body. The key is to fight fairly, and talk honestly about what’s bothering you, because that’ll boost your health more than using insults or put-downs, which will only add more tension to your relationship.
- Bad health habit #2: You don’t carry a pen. Experts say cold and flu germs are spread most easily through hand contact. So it makes sense that the more public pens you touch – like at the bank or doctor’s office - the higher your risk will be of getting sick. That’s why researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine recommend carrying your own pen at all times.
- Another surprising habit that could weaken your immune system: You don’t spend enough time hanging around the water cooler at work. A new study found that people who have six or more daily conversations with friends are four times less likely to catch colds than people who have fewer conversations! Researchers think it’s because friendly connections help lower the number of stress hormones flooding our body.
- One more surprising habit that could be making you sick: You’re pessimistic. Several new studies have shown that pessimistic people experience more stress, get sick more often, and live shorter lives, compared to people who always look on the bright side. Researchers say it’s because optimists tend to take better care of themselves – probably because they think they have more to live for.