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Dhaka Tribune

Are you hurting your immune system?

Update : 15 Jun 2015, 12:14 PM

Season changes are a hotspot for allergies and flus, but if your sinuses are always feeling like Dhaka’s traffic intersections, you might need to take a closer look at your lifestyle. Here are three ways you may be weakening your body’s natural defenses.

Skipping the workout

Work stress, study stress, exam stress, relationship woes...life in Dhaka is so chock full of stresses, there’s probably more cortisol (the stress hormone) than blood running through your veins. And one of the things that cortisol does is weaken your ability to fight off viruses. Exercise has long been known to slow down cortisol production and release endorphins, the feel-good hormone. So get up, get moving. If the gym seems like too much commitment, take small steps like walking instead of grabbing a rick, taking the stairs in lieu of the elevator. As long as you’re getting your 150 minutes of cardio a week, you’re in the green.

Probio-what?

We often associate the word “bacteria” to bugs that make us sick, but there are those that are actually good for you, such as the gut flora that helps us digest our food. Regular consumption of probiotics keeps these little critters happy and leads to better health and immunity for you. So put down that mayo and reach for that yogurt instead. For the lactose-intolerant, try kimchi or sour pickles, or ask your doctor to prescribe you a probiotic supplement as a substitute.

Abusing the antibiotics

You may need the pills to squash your ills, but not taking them properly may do more harm than good. From harming the helpful gut flora to building antibiotic resistance in viruses, there’s a scary number of things that could go wrong. Don’t self-medicate, and when prescribed antibiotics, be sure to complete the entire course, even if you’re feeling better.

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