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Six Reasons Some People Don’t Get Sick

By Felicia Vance

Are you secretly envious of your co-workers and friends who, like superheroes, never seem to suffer from illnesses like colds, the flu, heart issues, stomach problems, even certain cancers, and use far fewer office sick days (or rather, use less sick days actually being sick)?

Here are a few easy-to-follow tips to steal from them:

1. They Wash Their Hands – Over and Over. Hand washing may sound like obvious advice for combating germs, but surveys suggest that most of us are not vigilant about washing our hands after using the restroom. In order to prevent illness, it’s important to wash your hands frequently. During cold and flu season, wash your hands with soap many times during the day because you’re in contact with all kinds of pathogens — door knobs, stair railings, other people. You really want to have clean hands. According to the CDC, proper hand washing for 20 seconds is the most effective way to avoid the 1 billion colds that Americans catch each year, not to mention other infectious diseases.

2. They Sleep Well. It’s been shown that lack of sleep causes weight gain, leads to a compromised immune system and increases the production of cortisol, a hormone that triggers stress. Sleep is one of the best ways to stay healthy. People who get a solid eight hours per night absolutely do better. Those who get into bed and fall asleep right away and stay asleep are more protected against colds than those who wake up repeatedly through the night. A good night’s sleep will restore the immune system because when you get a good night’s sleep, melatonin levels rise and that improves immunity. And best of all, there are no side effects.The best time for a short snooze: Between the hours of one and three in the afternoon.

3. They Have Friends. You might not think having a social network would count a much as diet and exercise when it comes to good health. But studies have found good buddies can protect against everything from memory loss to heart attacks to infectious diseases. Sociability,  increases self-esteem, which in turn, supports the immune system.

4. They Take Cool Showers. A small body of scientific literature indicates exposure to cooler water may increase the body’s natural antioxidants.

5. They Control Their Stress. If you’re constantly frazzled, you’re at higher risk for everything from a heart attack to diabetes to colds to irritable bowel syndrome, or so researchers think.

6. They Lift Weights. Regular weight training may reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, colon and breast cancer, depression and diabetes.

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