How to keep colds away!

How to keep colds away!

Juan Eduardo De Cristofaro CC BY-SA

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Alexis Parkhurst, Highlights
January 12, 2012
Filed under Voices

With the cold weather of January finally starting to appear, winter is coming upon us; and with it the inevitable winter colds. Being a high school student, waking up early most of the week, having to keep up with classes and homework, and the stress of other hobbies and activities in your life, getting through winter with little to no sickness seems impossible. However, it is not and the following tips can be very helpful to staying healthy.

  1. Beware of Germs

Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. This means if someone with a cold touches an object before you do you can easily pick up the disease. In order to help not spread germs onto others and yourself, don’t sneeze or cough into your hands. If you feel like you have to sneeze or cough get a tissue, and if you can’t get to a tissue use the inside of your elbow.

Wash your hands frequently. When germs get on your hands they have not yet entered your body, so by washing your hands you rid yourself of possible colds.

Finally try not to touch your face.  Viruses enter the body through your mouth, nose and eyes. Touching them increases your risk of letting them into your body and getting you sick.

  1. Keep your immune system up.

Especially during the winter, finding ways to keep your immune system working well is important in avoiding colds and the flu. A good start is to make sure you are eating foods that will keep your immune system functioning. Ten common immune boosting foods listed on are:

  • Acai berries (similar to blueberries)
  • Oysters
  • Watermelon
  • Cabbage
  • Almonds
  • Grapefruit
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Sweet potato

Do some kind of aerobic exercise every day. This includes running, playing a sport, and other activities that take high amounts of energy. When you exercise your heart pumps blood faster and you breathe faster to get more oxygen from your lungs to your blood. This helps your body create more virus killing cells.

On top of exercising, making sure you get enough sleep is also crucial to staying healthy. A 2009 experiment by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University suggests that the more sleep you get, the better your chances of fighting off respiratory bugs. Try to get over 8 hours of sleep each night to help build up your immune system.

  1. Drink Plenty of Fluids

I know you’ve heard this plenty of times, but drinking enough daily is very important to stay healthy. Fluids rehydrate and flush out viruses and germs that hurt the body. The average healthy adult needs eight 8 oz. glasses of fluids each day. Make sure you’re getting enough

All it takes to keep yourself healthy during winter months is a little bit of planning. Organize your day to give yourself time to exercise and complete homework so you can get 8 hours of sleep. Eat foods that will keep your immune system working well and always bring a water bottle or two with you wherever you go. Using these tips and a few others, you will probably find that the inevitable winter cold isn’t as inevitable as it once seemed.

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