November 12, 2022

5 Activities That Could Affect COVID-19 Risk

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Over the past few years, we’ve all become experts at what to do to lessen our risk of contracting COVID-19 or other viruses like the flu or common cold.

We knew to mask at the height of the pandemic, avoid large crowds, keep from within a few feet of other people, wash our hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, and not to touch our face.

But studies show that other activities can be good or bad for our immune system, and the results might surprise you. CHC has a look at five uncommon risk factors for your immune health.

  1. Hugging or High-Fives?

During the height of the pandemic, hugs and handshakes were replaced by high-fives and fist bumps. Studies show, however, that frequent hugging among those you love is tied to less severe symptoms of viral illnesses. Researchers conclude that this type of affection and support counteracts stress in the body, giving you a better ability to fight infections.

  1. Working the Late Shift

In a study of overnight shift workers, it was discovered that they were about 20% more likely to get a cold or flu bug, and if they do, the symptoms are more severe. It’s believed that this is due to the shift in these individuals’ circadian rhythm, which doesn’t allow them to get as much quality sleep as someone who is sleeping during traditional overnight hours.

  1. Low-Carb Diets

Studies show that a diet that contains good carbohydrates (whole grains) is less likely for that individual to have moderate or severe COVID-19 symptoms than those who avoid carbs altogether.

  1. Getting Enough Sleep

Getting the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep allows your body to reset itself each night and perform at its best. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your immune system is one of many processes that suffer. Studies show if you get fewer than six hours of sleep routinely, you’re four times more likely to catch a cold.

  1. Time in the Sun

This can be difficult during the winter, but spending time in the sun can boost your vitamin D levels naturally, which can help prevent against the flu and other respiratory infections.

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