Smart Ways to Outrun Germs this Winter

By Sandy Schroeder

Make this the winter to stay healthy, skipping colds, flu, and coughs. Prevention.com tells us we can do it with a little planning. Use your head and follow these tips as a base for good health. 

Stock up on Pens

Every time you borrow someone’s pen, or any other item, you are adding more germs to your world. Cold and flu germs are easily passed through hand-to-hand contact. Keep wipes with you and use them at home and at work.

Stay Active -- Exercise More

University of South Carolina researchers discovered that men who got moderate exercise for three hours per day (playing tennis, a brisk walk, climbing stairs) were 35 percent less likely to catch a cold when compared with men who exercised for only one hour.

Wash Your Hands Frequently

It seems like a no-brainer. Every time you use something in public, such as a door handle, you're in contact with someone else's germs. Every crowd and every public area must be a concern, so it's imperative to wash your hands or keep some wipes with you that can lower the germ count on your hands. By the way, don't touch your hands to your eyes or mouth when you're out and haven't had a chance to wash yet.

Increase Your Sleep

University of Chicago researchers found men who got only four hours of sleep produced only half the amount of flu-fighting antibodies as men who got  7-8 1/2 hourse per night. I have several friends who automatically plan to sleep in when they feel they are coming down with a cold. They say they frequently wind up having a light cold, or not having one at all.

Monitor Your Community’s Health

In flu season, stay up on the news of viral outbreaks. When they are in full swing, make it a good time to stay in, watch movies, make soup and bake cookies. Hold outings down to a minimum.

Plan Ahead and Reschedule Unnecessary Events

If you have dental appointments, dog grooming or whatever else coming up, see if you can reschedule these dates some time later, too.

Break Out the Zinc

When symptoms first start to reveal themselves, you may have a secret weapon in zinc. Yep, zinc may help prevent or lessen the duration of a cold if used shortly after exposure to the virus. Taken as a lozenge, Prevention says zinc releases ions that prevent the virus from maturing and attaching to airways.

Get an Rx

If you feel the flu's aches and fatigue coming on, ask your doctor about an antiviral medication, which should give you a fighting chance if taken within 48 hours of exposure. After that, they won't work. Seeing your doctor can help get a correct diagnosis.

Use Your Diet As A Health Boost

Chicken soup complete with chicken bones can be a great choice, along with other veggie soups and casseroles, lots of fresh fruit and juices, and lean meats, chicken and fish. Hold the takeout down to a minimum and bring in more treats with nuts, dried fruits and low fat frozen yogurts.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Centennial, Colo.

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