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Fight Colds and the Flu With a Double Attack

By Sandy Schroeder

As we move through the holidays, the flu and cold season often becomes a challenge. Finding ways to stay healthy can start with two major pushes. Try shutting down germs and upgrading your immune system to stay healthy.

Smart Ways to Fight Germs

In a busy world with lots of office parties and holiday buffets, it's easy to let down your guard on germs. Take steps now to stay healthy with these tips from Harvard Health.

Do regular office clean-ups - Use wipes to keep keyboards and desk surfaces germ-free. At the same time, watch out for germs on shared coffeemakers and microwaves in the office kitchen.

Avoid people who are coughing - When you are in the office or out shopping, avoid people who are coughing and sneezing.

If you are sick, stay home - Don't be the one to add to the flu epidemic. If you have a temperature or other signs of the flu, consider working from home. 

Avoid obvious germ spots - With boxes of donuts, and all sorts of other snacks turning up everywhere, consider bringing your own snacks instead. 

Smart Ways to Improve Your Immune System

While you are avoiding germs, you can also take steps to strengthen your immune system. What you eat and what you do during the holidays can help your immune system or seriously sabotage it.

Eat more fruits and veggies - Skip the pastry aisle and stock up on fresh berries, apples, and grapes. At the same time add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cucumbers and zucchini in place of chips and dips.

Give up smoking - You may be smoking less, but stopping completely will actually make a difference in your health.

Keep moving - Don't let the holidays swallow up your fitness routines. Get up early to do your walk, or fit one in after lunch. Add some strength and stretches in the evening and use a treadmill or stationary bike when winter weather interferes with your outdoor routines.

Get the rest you need - Handling the holidays will be easier if you make the effort to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.  Make your bedroom a sleep retreat. Shut down electronics at least two hours before bedtime, and skip spicy foods, smoking and alcohol. At the same time, make room for a quiet time for the whole family in the evening to help everyone wind down. The better you sleep the better you will feel.

Avoid infections - Wash your hands often, cook meats thoroughly, and keep all kitchen surfaces clean.

Sidestep stress wherever you are - Pause here and there when you are rushing to get everything done. Take 10 minutes out to sit quietly and just breathe, take a quiet walk or do a simple meditation. The more you let your body relax the stronger your immune system will be.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in League City, Tex.

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