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Ways to Maintain a Strong Immune System

immune system healthy nurse healthcare worker 6 healthy steps6 steps to keep yourself healthy for your healthcare job!

Being a healthcare professional or intern means you may interact with ill patients on a daily basis. Even though you may properly follow the sanitization practices of your healthcare facility, bacteria and germs can still spread!

Since your immune system is meant to protect against germs, a weak one can more easily expose you to illnesses. It’s necessary to stay healthy for the well-being of your patients and the healthcare facility at which you work or intern.

If you want to stay healthy for your job or school, then consider these tips to maintain a strong immune system.

Here are 6 ways you can maintain a strong immune system and reduce the risk of illness.

1. Get plenty of sleep

You may be among the demographic of interns who get sick pulling all-nighters while cramming for their exams. Lack of sleep can cause a fever, stress, and lower your immune system’s ability to fight off bacteria. According to the National Sleep Foundation, young` adults ages 18-25 should get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Adults ages 26-64 need 7-8 hours. With plenty of shut-eye, you’ll also feel energized and ready to tackle the responsibilities of the new work day.

2. Socialize

A commonly cited study shows that the less we interact with others, the more likely we are to get sick and cause ourselves anxiety. Researchers monitored 276 people between the ages of 18-55. Those with six or more connections in their lives were four times better at fighting off viruses and colds than those who had fewer connections. Luckily, at a healthcare job you will need to interact with others on a daily basis. Chat with a co-worker or classmate in your spare time. But make sure you also schedule some needed TLC time with family and friends.

3. Exercise at least three times a week

Exercise is the key to a healthy life and better immune system. Staying active helps energize your body and keeps your oxygen and nutrients active in your body. If you’re having trouble becoming active, start by including fun exercises into the mix. You may enjoy dancing with friends, hiking, or yoga! If you have fun while you’re working out, it won’t be so frustrating!

4. Add vitamin D in your diet

You can boost your immune system by eating vitamin D on a regular basis. Vitamin D can be found in ingredients that help make a healthy diet. The vitamin provides essential nutrients to help fight cold-causing bacteria in the immune system. Eat a diet that includes:

  • Fish (salmon, tuna)
  • Orange juice
  • Citrus fruits
  • Dairy products (lean cheese, soy milk)
  • Leafy greens (kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts)

5. Avoid sharing objects with others

Try to avoid sharing objects with others. How can this help boost your immune system? It will stop the transfer of germs and bacteria from one person’s hands to the object. Carry your own pens, hand sanitizer, and other shared items. If you touch your phone or money, make sure you wash your hands right after.

6. Bring a jacket

In case of cold weather, bring a jacket! You’re more likely to catch infections if your sensitive body parts (neck, face, and, arms) are exposed to cold climates. Studies show that exposing body parts to the chill can cause a greater risk of sinus infections and fevers. Bundle up! It’s better to come prepared than end up with a cold.

We hope these tips will help you make conscious decisions to improve your health and ultimately your immune system. You can become a respectful and responsible healthcare provider by using these tips in your daily life and sharing them with others.

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The Harris School of Business offers career-related advice in its weekly blog. For more information on our career training programscontact us for more information or to schedule a tour!

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