Simple Steps to Avoid Catching Colds or Flu

By Sandy Schroeder

Sometimes flu and colds seem almost inevitable, especially when there is a heavy outbreak, but simple steps may help you and your family escape -- or suffer milder symptoms.

Check with your doctor for flu shots for your family and take these steps from Newsmax.

Get 7 hours sleep every night – Studies show individuals who get enough sleep are four times less likely to catch a cold than those who only get 5 or 6 hours. Try a quiet hour before bedtime and make sure the whole family gets enough rest. Getting enough sleep boosts morale and energy, too, to make life run better.

Dial stress way back – Chronic stress makes a cold twice as likely. Constant stress triggers production of cortisol, which causes an ongoing low grade inflammation and leaves the body wide open for colds and flu. Try deep breathing, meditation or yoga to let the tension go and keep your body strong.

Watch what you touch – Cleaning computer keyboards, doorknobs, desks and cell phone screens with wipes will reduce your germ exposure. If flu is taking a heavy toll at your office you might consider avoiding community microwaves and coffee pots, too.

Wash hands repeatedly – People who work with the public all of the time say they avoid the flu by washing their hands frequently. Scrub your hands under hot running water for at least 20 seconds.

Add supplements – Zinc, Vitamin C and Echinacea may help prevent or shorten colds. Keep them on hand and add more citrus to your diet.

Get outside and get moving – Researchers say exercise can strengthen the immune system, lowering the risk for colds by as much as 50 percent. Try to get outside every day and log in 30 minutes of walking, jogging or biking. Or do a brisk 15-minute walk in the morning, and another one after lunch. When the weather makes it impossible, do stretching and strength exercises inside.

Drink lots of water – Keep your system hydrated with lots of water and juices. Extra water may shorten the length of a cold.

Soothe colds with honey – Ease sore throats and calm colds by adding honey to tea.

Chicken soup works, too – Researchers say chicken soup may help inhibit mucous production, in addition to being a natural comforter.

Serve more veggies – Add more berries, tomatoes, dark leafy greens and bell peppers to meals to get the natural power of Vitamin C and zinc to boost the immune system.

Overall, avoid crowds whenever you can, and stay home if you have a cold or the flu. If you must go out, wear a surgical mask that can be purchased from a local pharmacy.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Goodyear, Ariz.

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