The Results Are In: The Essential Habits Of People Who Don’t Get Sick

Don’t you find it perplexing how some people are seemingly immune to colds and the flu? Some of us are sick every other month, and others go through the whole year without one runny nose. There is significant research behind this that can help you and others alike prevent the onset of unwanted colds. If scientific evidence isn’t enough for you, we’ve also included advice from people across the world, sharing the tactics that aid them in combating illness and enjoying a healthy life. Let’s take a look and discover the habits of people who never get sick.

Be Mindful of the Surfaces You Touch

 A ceremony takes place in Kolpino to launch an elevator assembly plant
Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images
Peter KovalevTASS via Getty Images

Get your elbows ready! Even the slightest mistake can strike up a cold, and that includes touching surfaces that millions of others have already touched. A study from the University of Arizona discovered that in an office place, viruses spread across 50 percent of surfaces, and affecting employees within hours if just one person in the vicinity is infected.

That means after you wash your hands, “use a paper towel to turn off the faucet,” says leading physician Partha Nandi. If you must, press the elevator button with your elbows!

Drink Lots and Lots of Water

Drinking-Water-1158237594
Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images
Europa Press News/Europa Press via Getty Images

Water has been and will always play a pivotal role in living a healthy life. Family medicine physician Renee Miranda says, “take your weight in pounds, divide in half, and this is approximately how many ounces of water you need a day.”

That might sound like a lot, but it’s for the better if you wish to avoid getting sick. For example, if you drink the appropriate amount of water, not only will your kidneys function better, but you improve your chances of beating a cold.

Get Some Sleep!

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Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Sleep is another thing you shouldn’t miss out on. We understand that life gets busy, and sometimes you need to get up early or stay awake past your usual bedtime, but getting enough sleep is essential to staying healthy.

When you’re low on sleep, studies show your immune system weakens, and you’re prone to getting sick. “Sleep is one of the most important things we can do for the body,” Dr. Miranda says. “When we sleep, the body gets a chance to recuperate, repair, and rejuvenate.”

Clean Your Phone

cleaning an iphone
Chesnot/Getty Images
Chesnot/Getty Images

Think about all the times you place your phone down throughout the day. It picks up germs all day long, with every surface you set it on, making it way dirtier than you think it is. Your hands can also pass on the bacteria.

“When someone in the house is sick, I sanitize surfaces you don’t usually think of: doorknobs, faucets, toilet flusher, light switches, phones, and remotes,” says New Jersey mom Genna Banafato. That mom has the right idea, anything to bring down the chances of catching a cold.

Get The Flu Shot

getting a flu shot on stage - Tom Frieden
Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Not everyone wants to get a flu shot, but it turns out it is the most effective barrier between you and the flu. Some question why they would put the virus in them, but the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s vital.

“Of utmost importance, make sure you are up to date on all your vaccines,” says Dr. Miranda. The flu shot is designed to prevent people from catching the flu and also helping reduce the amount of time spent recovering from sickness, ultimately helping reduce medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Meditation And Yoga Help Reduce Stress + Illness

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Mikhail PochuyevTASS via Getty Images
Mikhail PochuyevTASS via Getty Images

Stress is strongly connected to a lowered immune system, and yoga and meditation are excellent ways to reduce it. If you want to boost your immune system, eliminate as much stress as possible. Dr. Miranda says, “start with some form of breathing exercises or meditation practices daily to help reduce stress levels.”

Common effects of stress include headache, muscle tension or pain, fatigue, upset stomach and trouble sleeping. Studies show that yoga helps reduce stress, alleviating these symptoms.

Yogurt Consumption Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

young boy enjoys yogurt
Classen/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Classen/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Probiotics have a ton of health benefits that include help preventing you from getting sick. You can find them in fermented foods, some cheeses, and yogurt. They manage the bacteria in your gut microbiome, both harmful and good bacteria.

“The majority of our immune system is based in our gut,” says Palinski-Wade. “A healthy gut reduces inflammation in the body, allowing it to better fight off potential infections.” Greek yogurt is an excellent source for probiotics, and you can customize it by adding other helpful fruits to better your immune system even more.

Wash Those Hand Towels!

home with decorative hand towels
Geoffrey Baker/Conde Nast via Getty Images
Geoffrey Baker/Conde Nast via Getty Images

On average, bath towels need washing every two to three days. Hand towels need attention every day due to being more prone to germs because multiple people use them. Some people don’t properly wash their hands!

A study found E. coli on 26 percent of kitchen towels tested and coliform on 89 percent. Additionally, “viral transmission can happen fairly quickly within the home,” says Dr. Nandi. Keep this in mind next time you do laundry and don’t forget the towels.

Include More Zinc In Your Diet

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Vitamin (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)
Vitamin (Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

Many “rely” on vitamin C to help prevent colds, but they might be doing it wrong. A better route to go is popping a zinc pill. A recent review showed that participants who had zinc experienced shorter colds.

“If you do take zinc, take it in the form of a syrup or lozenge, which allows it to stay in the throat where it can come into contact with a virus like a cold,” says nutrition and fitness expert Erin Palinski-Wade.

Going Outside Will Boost Your Immune System + Circulation

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Chris Sorensen for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Chris Sorensen for The Washington Post via Getty Images

Overall, spending time outdoors is a great way to prevent sickness. “Getting outside for a change of scenery, going for a walk on a trail, and breathing fresh air promotes a more active lifestyle, helps with circulation, provides stress relief, and improves well-being,” Dr. Miranda says.

Even during the colder months, people who spend more time outdoors spend less time laying on the couch with a cold. Even if you can only commit 20 minutes to a walk, or sitting outside, it will make a difference.

Healthy People Know Hot Water Is Good For You

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Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hydrating yourself will always be beneficial, but there are some surprising benefits to drinking hot water, including preventing sickness. Hot water increases the mucus flow throughout the nasal passages, weakening sinus symptoms. Receive this benefit as you enjoy a cup of your favorite tea.

Dr. Nandi suggests to, “drink warm water with raw honey added to it, add some organic lemon juice to the warm water with honey, or drink warm water with a cinnamon stick in it.”

Watch Who You Keep As Company

The Queen Mother Prince Charles And The Queen At The Derby
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Being around supportive friends and family members is one of the best environments to put yourself in for many reasons. On the other hand, when you’re with negative, unsupportive people, your body can take offense to that.

“The human body adapts to whatever environment you expose it to, so when you expose the body to a positive environment, supportive friends and family, and work on stress relief with laughing therapy, the body experiences less stress, and this has positive health benefits.” Dr. Miranda says.

Your Nose Needs A Flush

women flushing her nose
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Research indicates that nasal irrigation increases your chances of avoiding nasal infections. “Reducing exposure is as simple as rinsing the internal nostrils with pure saline wash,” says medical herbalist Tami Bronstein.

Germs that cause nasal infections are airborne, and unless we’re already sick, chances are we’re breathing out of our noses. “Angle the spray nozzle into the inner tip of the nose—this is where the rhinovirus replicates, so you can interrupt its multiplication,” says Bronstein.

Have You Ever Tried Essential Oils?

essential oils used to help
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Essential oils might not be an item that people use every day but it could be of assistance when combating colds. Essential oils are usually obtained by distillation and have the fragrance of the source they were extracted from.

“When I feel like I am coming down with something, I put a couple of drops of essential oils on my body and start to feel better within a couple of hours,” says Carla Tappen of Morristown, New Jersey.

Don’t Be Afraid To Do The Deed

couple in bed
EyesWideOpen/Getty Images
EyesWideOpen/Getty Images

This fact might excite some people or help them understand why they’re not as sick as much. “If the experience is enjoyable and provides stress relief, then yes, intercourse can boost your immune system,” Dr. Miranda says.

You read that correctly. Don’t be afraid to bask in the joys of romantic bliss if it’s acting as a stress relief agent. If you’re simply doing it for the thrills, it might not operate the same way.

Don’t Be A Germaphobe

woman looking at soap bar
Jacques M. Chenet/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
Jacques M. Chenet/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images

There is such a thing as being too concerned with cleaning. Like those people who wonder if soap bars hold onto germs, you don’t have to take it to those extremes. “Of course, wash your hands after you use the restroom, but don’t go crazy sanitizing everything,” says Katie Rey of Syracuse, New York, who says she rarely gets sick.

Being exposed to germs and dirt helps build your immunity, and this can be labeled as the hygiene hypothesis. Exposure to different types of bacteria and bugs creates a balanced immune system.

Pump Some Iron

amanda cerny working out
Sammy_Samuelson/Reddit
Sammy_Samuelson/Reddit

Breaking a sweat and gaining some muscle never hurt anyone. In fact, it does the exact opposite when it comes to preventing colds. A frequent runner said she never gets sick and attributes to the exercise.

“Regular, moderate exercise may improve the immune system and aid in the prevention of illness,” Palinski-Wade says. “One small study found that regular exercise prevented catching the common cold when compared to individuals who do not exercise regularly.” Conversely, if one remains sedentary too much, he or she increases the likelihood of becoming sick.

Eat Your Veggies

man shopping for veggies
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Vegetables should be in your diet. There are many superfoods that you should consume that have immune-boosting powers, and veggies lead the pack. You can prepare them in many different ways or combine them in smoothies to make a tasty drink.

“Vegetables are packed full of antioxidants, which fight against free radicals that can damage cells and weaken the immune system,” Palinski-Wade says. “Dark green, leafy vegetables are packed full of vitamin C, which may help to reduce the duration of a cold slightly.”

Go For The Green Tea

jorja smith sipping tea
ghostinkyrie/Twitter
ghostinkyrie/Twitter

If you’re a tea drinker, the one you should be attracted to is green tea, thanks to its many health benefits, including preventing catching a cold.

“Green tea seems to have an impact on reducing the instance of catching a virus as well as reducing the duration of a virus,” Palinski-Wade says. Research from Oregon State University says that green tea’s antioxidant polyphenols might influence T-cells that play a vital role in immune function.

Gargle The Water!

man who gargles
SSPL/Getty Images
SSPL/Getty Images

This tactic is more old school, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. A home remedy that many folks should consider bringing back into the fold is gargling. You don’t need anything besides water, and you’re set to go.

A study from Japan discovered that rinsing with water helps in preventing upper respiratory tract infections. Perhaps that’s why the practice is so common among the Japanese. Skeptics say the results need be replicated before proving it works, but we know it can’t hurt to try!