Getting sick is a fairly routine occurrence for many people, even though the causes of the illness can vary greatly. It’s common knowledge that being exposed to extreme temperatures or being around other sick people can make you sick, but there are several other factors you might not have considered. Sometimes, getting sick can be caused by more than not washing your hands.
Your body is a combination of systems that need different components to run properly. Knowing what to avoid or change can mean the difference between feeling great and taking another sick day. Here are nine lifestyle factors that can contribute to ill health.
- Not Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep is a surefire way to put your health in jeopardy. Sleep is vital for your brain and body to rest and recover from the day’s events. Lack of sleep can result in depression, weight gain and even digestive problems, among other things. Strive to get a minimum of seven hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.
- Low Activity Level
It’s been documented in multiple places that a mostly sedentary lifestyle will result in poor health. Sitting at your desk all day at work or at home means you aren’t getting the most use out of your body’s abilities. Poor physical health is not a standalone condition and is tied to your mental status, too. Low levels of activity can lead to lowered psychological health and mental disorders.
Handling everyday matters doesn’t just affect your mental health. Stress can also have damaging physical symptoms when left unchecked. Being constantly stressed or overly anxious triggers your immune system to malfunction and that makes it easier for you to get sick.
- Low Vitamin D
Our bodies need a combination of nutrition and vitamins in order to function. Vitamin D is one of the most important factors needed to keep our immune systems working. You can get this vitamin from foods like fish, eggs and certain vegetables. If your vitamin D levels are too low, you can use a supplement to raise them. Just be sure to test your levels and check with your doctor beforehand.
- Poor Nutrition
Using food to take care of your body is essential for good health. Eating high levels of processed foods, sugars and other toxic material throughout the day can drain your body of energy and nutrients. This means your immune system will not get the fuel needed to keep you healthy.
- Poor Environment
Where we live can also have an influence on our health. Environmental factors like clean water access and overcrowding can also be damaging. However, noise pollution is often overlooked but one of the main contributions to poor health. Increased noise from roads, either traffic or construction, can lead to damaged hearing as well as mood changes like irritability.
- Too Much Caffeine
When we feel tired but can’t go to bed, there are a number of outlets we can turn to. Energy drinks and coffee are used to give a temporary boost so you can get through the day. However, having too much caffeine can be extremely harmful to your nervous system. Being over-caffeinated can result in feeling jittery and being unable to sleep.
- Too Many Germs
Germs are everywhere, there’s no getting away from them. However, you can protect yourself and your health by making sure to wash your hands regularly. We touch many surfaces throughout the day that may not be the cleanest. As a result, our hands pick up various germs and bacteria that can further spread when we touch our faces. Wash your hands multiple times throughout the day and if you can’t, use hand sanitizer.
- Social Relationships
Foods aren’t the only things that can be toxic in our lives. Sometimes, our interpersonal relationships can cause added stress and strain to both our physical and mental health. Whether it’s a romantic relationship on the rocks or a blowhard boss, interacting with people can be taxing. Work on maintaining positive and beneficial relationships, both at work and in your personal life. It might be difficult, but consider removing any toxic or overly anxious personalities from your social circle in order to maintain your own health.