Sick

Are you tired of feeling good all the time?

Is your immune system frustratingly effective?  Does good health stalk you in your nightmares?  When sickness is your goal it can be frustrating to see articles touting that that even mundane things like laughing or picking your nose can help your immune system.  The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do today to lower your immune function and make you more susceptible to illness!  Here are 5 easy and evidence-based actions you can take today to weaken your immune system and make yourself more susceptible to illness.

1. Avoid Physical Activity

Do not exert yourself.  If you want a lazy immune system, be lazy yourself.  No exercise for you!  Harvard Medical School described regular exercise as “one of the pillars of healthy living.”  One of the pillars of unhealthy living is avoiding exercise and effort.  For your immune system to function well it needs circulation.  The Harvard Medical School theorized that exercise helps to improve circulation, facilitating the immune response.  Activity increases your heart rate, circulation, and all sorts of healthy responses.  If channel surfing and browsing the web are as physical as you get, you are on track to lowering your immune system function.

2. Stay Indoors

Avoid sunshine and fresh air.  Sunlight is a natural disinfectant and can limit your exposure to live viruses and bacteria.  Sunlight also increases vitamin D production, which has been shown to improve your immune response.  Instead of risking those healthy benefits, stay inside.  The glow of a television or the light in your refrigerator are sufficient to see and to do not pose the risk of increasing your immune system's strength.

This looks way too healthy

3. Be Selective In What You Eat

Perhaps the single largest impact on your immune response and general health is your diet. If lowering immunity is your goal then you must avoid foods and supplements containing the following: Vitamins A, C and E, zinc, copper, iron and selenium.  This may seem like an impossibility, but a good place to start is removing dark leafy greens, carrots, fish, broccoli, bell peppers, nuts, citrus fruit, legumes, seeds, and squash.  Replacing 1 meal per day with twinkies or similar calorie dense, nutrient lacking food may be enough to lower your immune function.

4. Smoke

In good conscience I could never recommend smoking to anyone; it is among the most destructive ways to decrease your body’s immune response.  It affects both innate and adaptive immunity.  This study investigates all of the different immune cells and systems affected by smoking https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27902485.  If you genuinely want to decrease your health and immune response, smoking will do it.

smoke

5. Limit your sleep

Sleep helps to regulate your immune response and increases your general health. Most experts recommend the average adult get 7-9 hours of sleep per night.  If you have difficulty limiting your sleep, a strategy many find useful is increasing caffeine and sugar consumption right before bed.  Another strategy is to think of problems that may arise tomorrow and think of the worst things that could happen when dealing with each of them.  If you want to take your sleep depravation to the next level, try to sleep at different times each day.    Being on a routine makes it easier to get good and restful sleep (Mayo Clinic).  Sleeping less than 7 hours per night at random times will negatively affect your immune response.

6. Increase your stress

High stress has been linked to immune dysregulation, a state where the many aspects of the immune system that normally work well together begin to lose coordination.  The result is that stressed people get sick more readily than non-stressed individuals.  Increasing your stress can be as easy as watching the news or talking to a stranger.  If you really want to increase your stress level you could try to start a new business, increase your debt, or begin an argument on social media.

If health is the antithesis of your goal and sickness is your friend, I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  (If a healthy immune system is your goal, please do the opposite).