Are you secretly envious of your co-workers and friends who, like superheroes, never seem to suffer from illnesses like colds and the flu?
Come to think of it, some studies have found a small population of people who don’t suffer from heart issues, stomach problems, or certain cancers, and use far fewer office sick days (or rather, use less sick days actually being sick).
So what’s their deal?
We decided to look into what was making these people seemingly “immune” from the common sicknesses many of us face and found they share some common habits.
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 — doorknobs, stair railings, other people. You really want to have clean hands.
According to the CDC, proper handwashing 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.
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2. They Take Cold Showers
A small body of scientific literature indicates exposure to cooler water may increase the body’s natural antioxidants.
It can feel uncomfortable to immerse our bodies in cold water, but it can also be invigorating.
That’s because water that’s colder than our natural body temperature causes the body to work slightly harder to maintain its core temperature.
When taken regularly, cold showers can make our circulatory system more efficient.
Some people also report that their skin looks better as a result of cold showers, probably because of better circulation.
Athletes have known this benefit for years, even if we have only recently seen data that supports cold water for healing after a sports injury.
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3. They Value Friendships
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 that good, close friends can protect against everything from memory loss and heart attacks to