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If You Do These 10 things, You’ll get Sick Much Less Often

If You Do These 10 Things, You’ll get Sick Much Less Often

1. Are you washing your hands correctly and at the right times?

How long do you need to soap your hands before they are clean of bacteria?

20 seconds! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we should wet and then soap our hands for a full twenty seconds. That doesn’t sound like it is long, but it is the same amount of time that it takes to quickly sing yourself happy birthday twice.

Few people take enough time to soap their hands, and even fewer are sure to soap the backs of their hands, between their fingers, and their nails. Are you?

The last step in effective hand washing is to be sure to rinse all the soap off your hands. Soap is attracted to dirt and oil. Soap molecules encircle the dirt, oil, and germs on your hands and the water washes the captured bacteria off your skin.

Sure, you know you should wash your hands after using the restroom and before you eat. Are you doing it?

You’ll get sick much less often if you wash your hands not only after using the restroom and before you eat anything, but also:

· After handling money or after being out shopping

· After handling dirty laundry

· After caring for someone ill

· After handling pet food, pet waste, garbage, or changing a diaper

· Before cleaning a wound and afterwards too

· After you handle raw meat or eggs

· Before making any food

Did you know that up to eighty percent of all infections occur due to contamination of your hands? (1). Start regular hand washing to decrease your risk of infection.

2. Yikes! Did you know you were carrying a dirty toilet seat around with you?

Which is dirtier, a toilet seat or your phone screen?

According to research, your phone screen is up to three times more contaminated with bacteria than a toilet seat, and in the study, 92% of the 25 mobile phones tested were infested with bacteria (2).

Here’s the good news: antibacterial wipes will clean your phone and your computer keyboard quicker than you can say “I’m so healthy!”. Make it a habit to clean your mobile phone and keyboard once a day to protect your health.

3. Are you cleaning your yoga mat before every use and washing your hands after hitting the gym?

Yoga mats and gym equipment can host bacteria, fungi, and parasites. Be smart and bring your own yoga mat to class and be sure to wash your hands after each gym visit.

4. Are you going to bed and getting up at the same time every night?

Going to bed and getting up at the same time every night is calming to the nervous system, which protects the power of your immune system.

If you are going to bed at the same time every night, then it is highly likely that you are getting not only enough sleep but high-quality sleep as well. We are creatures of habit. Your body and mind will start to slow down and prepare for slumber in anticipation of your regular bedtime. By the time your head hits the pillow, you will be programmed to fall asleep quickly and deeply.

Getting up at the same time every morning causes less stress and uses up less of your willpower. Your body is so accustomed to getting up at the same time, that you might not even need to set an alarm clock. Starting the day in a state of calm and higher willpower saves valuable energy and resources to deal with whatever comes your way.

5. Are you spending enough time doing nothing?

Yes, you read that right. Are you investing at least five minutes per day into just BE-ing? Meditation has a wide range of proven health benefits, but you don’t have to spend this daily time meditating to boost your immune system.

Just five minutes of sitting in the sunshine while feeling the warmth on your skin and letting your attention flow into the present moment will boost your immunity. Admiring a piece of artwork, a flower, a tree, or a water feature will also do the trick if you can turn your mind off and just appreciate the beauty in front of you.

6. Drink a glass of water with half a freshly squeezed lemon.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice is high in vitamins and minerals that stimulate your digestion, boost your immune system, and give your skin a more radiant glow.

7. Tell yourself you are healthy and robust.

Yes, you read that correctly. You strengthen your immune system just by telling yourself that you enjoy radiant good health and are resilient to getting sick.

Do you walk around thinking about how healthy you are?

Do you take time to feel grateful for your good health daily?

Do you spare a few seconds to feel the well-being in your body a few times a day?

Start telling yourself, “I am so grateful for my good health. I feel so good in my body. Wow, I’m so thankful to be so healthy right now.”

8. Do 5 minutes of exercise in the morning – every day.

Five minutes doesn’t sound like much. Are you incredulous that 5 minutes of exercise can make a difference in your resiliency to becoming ill?

It’s true.

In five minutes of even gentle movement, you can increase the circulation in your body, start to tone muscles, and open up more flexibility in the spine and the rest of the body. You finish feeling uplifted and energized.

The critical point is that you need to do the five minutes of exercise EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. Humans tend to think that MORE = BETTER, but here it is BEST to do some movement EVERY MORNING.

Five minutes of exercise every morning will do far more for your health than one thirty-five-minute exercise session a week or even two twenty-minute exercise sessions during the week. Why?

Less willpower my friend. Five minutes sounds easy.

5-minutes of exercise in the morning isn’t a mind struggle, and even becomes EFFORTLESS when you do it every single morning for 21-40 days and it becomes a habit. Not only that, but no matter where you are, or what you have planned for the day, you have five minutes in the morning. There’s no excuse NOT to do it.

Additionally, when you start your day with movement, then you tend to add more movement into your day, all day long.

The first few mornings you may not notice much of a change. Within ten days your body, mind, and emotional landscape will start you associate the morning movement with feeling good. You will then want to get another feel-good dose at other times in your day. Since it was so effortless and quick to do the five minutes of exercise in the morning, you will find it natural to add in 2-5 movement breaks at work, when you get home from work, or even in places like the elevator.

So you may be asking, what do I DO in these 5 minutes of exercise?

The answer….. ANYTHING you enjoy.

You can do 5 minutes of push-ups and squats, 5 minutes of yoga, 5 minutes of qi gong or tai chi, and go out for a quick 5-minute walk around the block.

9. Spending time in nature every day

Scientific research proves that time in nature boosts your immune system, especially if are ‘forest bathing’. A forest emits chemicals into the air that can boost the immune system while relaxing the entire body.

According to, a relaxed walk in a forest lowers the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in the body by 12.4% and the heart rate by 1.4% as compared to a walk in an urban setting. The blood pressure of forest walkers decreased while the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows your body to rest, digest, and rejuvenate, was turned on.

If there isn’t a forest to bathe in near by- don’t fret. Spending time outside near trees in your own yard or a nearby park, at the ocean, a lake, or stream, or relaxing in a meadow can increase your immunity.

We give our bodies a slight shock when we go outside into the cold, heat, wind, rain, or snow. We become more resilient when we give our bodies this opportunity to strengthen. In the meantime, the fresh air fills our body with more oxygen and clears out stagnation.

Just looking at green relaxes our nervous system. If you go for a walk or swim in nature then you will find your mind slow churning and your being too calm as you increase your fitness level.

10. Shock your body with cold.

Would you jump into a lake with the temperature at an icy 37 degrees Fahrenheit?

There are some tenacious +65 Swiss women who jump into the lake I live near every single day all winter long. Why?

A cold shower or an icy lake plunge increases your body’s circulation, causes your lymphatic system to flow fluids through your body at an increased rate, lowers inflammation in the body, and raises your overall sense of well-being while fighting off depression.

As an added bonus, when you immerse yourself in the cold regularly, you build tenacity, resilience, and mental fortitude.

To learn more about how to get started check out the Wim Hof Method.

11. Eat colorful. Eat fresh.

Eating nourishing foods packed with vitamins and minerals will boost your immune system and enable you to fight off illness.

Aim to eat at least two high-crunch pieces of fruit or vegetables a day, such as apples, carrots, red peppers, and cucumbers.

12. Use organic, natural essential oils and an all-natural oil for skin care

Did you know that essential oils are effective against bacteria and fungi? According to a scientific study, “lemongrass, eucalyptus, peppermint, and orange oils were effective against all the 22 bacterial strains,” tested.

There are a variety of toxic substances included in most common beauty and skin care products. Using all-natural and organic products on your skin and hair reduces the toxic overload you are subjected to and relieves pressure from your immune system.

You can select inexpensive and readily available carrier oils, such as almond or cold-pressed olive oil, and add 2-5 drops of essential oils. Massage the essential oil and carrier oil mixture onto your skin after your shower or bath.

You will not only be hydrating your skin, but you will also be killing bacteria and fungi. Start from the face and work your way downwards. Be sure to remember the soles of your feet, as well as between your fingers and toes, where bacteria and fungi can hide.

13. Hydrate two hours before bed and again first thing in the morning.

What happens to you when you drink a liter of water right before bedtime?

You probably will be up in the night needing to use the restroom, which will interfere with your deep sleep cycle.

Yet we want to be hydrated as we drift into slumber for the night. So aim to drink between half and a full liter of water two hours before bed.

During the night our bodies have the opportunity to rejuvenate, heal, and replenish. Going to bed hydrated means that toxins can be pulled out of the skin, the blood, and the rest of the body. Hydration enables our body to do the repair work it needs for you to wake up feeling, and looking, your best.

You will wake up in need of water even if you hydrate before bed. The first thing you want to do when you get up is drink half a liter of water warm or cold water with freshly squeezed lemon.

Rehydrating the body first thing in the morning will increase your alertness, vitality, and energy levels. You may even discover that you no longer need to reach for a cup of coffee right away.

Drinking water before breakfast will stimulate your digestion and allow your body to continue its detox process.

14. Fast At Least 12-14 Hours

Give your body a break from digesting food for at least 12 hours in a 24-hour period. Digesting food takes energy that can be directed to fighting off pathogens, eliminating toxins, and repairing the body.

Once a week you can go one step further and eliminate eating either breakfast or dinner to give your body an even bigger break from digesting food.

Make sure to eat a lunch continuing high fiber whole grains and vegetables as well as a protein source so that hunger pains don’t wake you up in the night or interfere with your ability to work well the next morning.

If you skip breakfast, make sure to only drink black tea or coffee in the morning.

15. Flood Your Brain with Positivity and your Body with Laughter

Some evidence suggests that resilience to getting sick can be improved by positivity, gratefulness, and above all else, laughter.

So when was the last time you laughed long and hard?

You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you a joke. Go ahead and find a comedy show on Netflix that you find hilarious, a podcast that makes you laugh out loud, or a game that makes you break into giggles.

Laughter reduces stress hormones, negative emotions, and despondency while increasing your circulation and even relaxing muscles. A good laugh even has long-term benefits, according to the Mayo Clinic, such as the ability to increase positive thoughts, relaxation, and therefore immunity function.

The Mayo Clinic also reports that gratefulness and positivity can release neuropeptides, which improve immune functioning and can help keep you healthy.

While you may find it a challenge to think positive, thankful thoughts all day long, you can set a timer and think about happy memories and all your blessings for 5-20 minutes a day.

An even better idea is to associate a regular daily chore or activity, such as washing the dishes, going for a walk, or your commute to work, with your positive and grateful thinking time.

There are few things I am willing to promise, but hand-on-heart, I believe in just 10 days of doing this activity daily you will become addicted to it because of just how good it makes you feel.

Blissful, even.

And guess what?

Germs don’t like to mess with blissful people.

(Okay, I made that one up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it?) - Heather Lenz

Al-Ghamdi A.K., Abdelmalek S.M.A., Ashshi A.M., Faidah H., Shukri H., Jiman-Fatani A.A. Bacterial contamination of computer keyboards and mice, elevator buttons and shopping cards. Afr. J. Microbiol. Res. 2011;5:3998–4003. [Google Scholar]

Morubagal, Raghavendra Rao et al. “Study of bacterial flora associated with mobile phones of healthcare workers and non-healthcare workers.” Iranian Journal of Microbiology vol. 9,3 (2017): 143-151.

Int J Biometeorol. 2019 Aug;63(8):1117-1134. Epub 2019 Apr 18. Effects of forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) on levels of cortisol as a stress biomarker: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Forest Bathing is an Evidence-based wellness practice.

Park, Bum Jin et al. The physiological effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing): evidence from field experiments in 24 forests across Japan. Environmental health and preventive medicine vol. 15,1 (2010): 18-26. doi:10.1007/s12199-009-0086-9.

Antibacterial and antifungal activity of ten essential oils in vitro. Pattnaik S, Subramanyam VR, Kole C. Microbios. 1996;86(349):237-46.

Bennett, Mary Payne, and Cecile Lengacher. “Humor and Laughter May Influence Health IV. Humor and Immune Function.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 6,2 (2009): 159-64. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem149

Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke.

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