(SurvivalDaily.com) – Getting sick can be a death sentence in a true crisis or survival scenario. Even simple issues like a common cold can slow you down, hold you back, and prevent you from doing what you need to do to stay alive. That’s why it’s so important to take steps to avoid catching a bug that may be your last. To help you survive and thrive in your next crisis, we put together a list of our favorite tips.
Boost Your Immune System
Your immune system is one of the best defenses you have against becoming infected. As your body’s main defense system, you should take care of it and nurture it at all times.
You can boost your immune system by:
- Not smoking. Smoking is inherently bad for the lungs, but also negatively impacts a person’s whole body. The immune system, despite its name, is not exempt from these effects.
- Exercising. A regular workout routine — lifting weights, running, playing a sport, or even just getting out for a walk — promotes healthy cells. This results in a healthier immune system while also boosting endurance.
- Eating Healthy. Eating a nutritious diet doesn’t have to mean go vegan. It just means making sure you’re balancing meals and eating plenty of fruit and veggies whenever you can. Blueberries, for example, are packed with antioxidants, which aid the body in clearing out toxins and fighting off illness.
- Getting Enough Sleep. When you’re asleep at night (or having a nap, to a lesser degree) your body accelerates self-repair. This includes activating the immune system to fight off any intruders. If you don’t get enough sleep, that critical self-healing and regeneration period is greatly shortened. There’s nothing worse than being overworked. Your immune system feels the same way!
- Maintaining Good Hygiene. Being clean keeps germs and bacteria from continuing to grow and multiply. Washing your hands and body regularly helps tremendously. The less bacteria there is, the less your immune system has to fight. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to wash ALL dirt away, but you can and should wash whenever you’ve been around people or germy environments.
- Practicing Stress Management. Stress breaks down your mental health and your well-being, too. What often starts as a bad day (a textbook description of many sudden situations that lead to the need for survival) can quickly leave you feeling raw, depressed, or anxious. Left unaddressed, it might even lead to a total mental breakdown — and that can be deadly in multiple ways. Meditation, hot baths (when available), yoga, running, and confiding in people you trust can be a great way to help offset some of that load.
The human immune system and body do begin to slow down as we age, but creating good habits now can help you stay well for life. Practice a healthy lifestyle to increase the lifespan of your immune system and prolong its effectiveness.
Other Ways to Prevent Illness
Just like being prepared is the best weapon for survival, preventing illness is the best way to stay healthy. Whether achieved through a boosted immune system or simple health management, you must stay healthy if you want to survive.
Other options for achieving this goal include:
- Having Clean Water — This is a must. If your water is contaminated it’s likely you’re not far from being sick.
- Staying Hydrated — Dehydration can bring on diarrhea and vomiting, causing further dehydration. Stay dehydrated long enough and you will eventually face the grim reaper himself.
- Keeping Food Equipment Clean — Make sure to keep your utensils and eatware clean at all times. Unclean equipment is an instant recipe for food poisoning and other illnesses.
- Proper Disposal of Waste Material — Human waste, animal dung, garbage, and compost are all breeding grounds for germs. You don’t want them too close to where you sleep or prepare food.
- Good Handwashing Strategies — Keep your hands as clean as possible. Your hands touch everything and are often the dirtiest and most contaminated part of the body.
- Good Oral Hygiene — Your mouth is full of bacteria. Be sure to clean it properly as this is an easy entrance point for many pathogens.
- Avoiding Stings and Bites — Do your best to avoid being bitten or stung by insects and animals. These can become infected and cause you to become sick or septic, not to mention carrying a risk for allergic reactions.
In a survival situation, you need to have your mind and body firing on all cylinders.
Getting sick puts you at a severe disadvantage and cripples your thinking process, reaction time, and motivation, too. Stay healthy to best equip yourself for the ultimate battle between life and death.
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