Important Tips For Avoiding The Common Cold

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With cold and flu season right around the corner, it's time to make preparations to reduce your likelihood of catching a cold. Contrary to popular opinion, colds are not an inevitable consequence of the winter months. If you're meticulous about your habits in the months before it gets cold, you can significantly reduce your chances of getting sick this winter.

Better still, the preparations you'll have to make aren't that difficult. By committing to a few simple lifestyle changes, you'll be much more likely to remain healthy--even if your friends and loved ones aren't so lucky.

Preparation Tip #1: Get Enough Vitamin D

Most people consider vitamin C to be the miracle defense against colds and viruses. On the other hand, vitamin D is normally associated with bone health and calcium absorption. However, recent studies have shown that vitamin D deficiencies can compromise your immune system as well. 

Since most of a person's vitamin D comes from spending time in the sun, winter makes it difficult to get enough vitamin D on a daily basis. To combat this, you should build your diet around foods rich in vitamin D, including:

Preparation Tip #2: Protect Your Sleep Time

Most people don't get enough sleep on a regular basis. In spite of the fact that you should always try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each day, 35% of the population reports that they regularly get less than 7 hours. This is a problem for a number of reasons, but it can also impact your body's ability to fight off a cold.

The easiest way to ensure that you get enough sleep is to make sure that you allow sufficient time for sleeping. However, if you still have problems getting sufficient sleep, try following a sleep routine. Start your sleep process at the same time every night, turn off any televisions or lights, and implement relaxation techniques such as rhythmic breathing to ease your transition into a sleep state.

Preparation Tip #3: Become a Germophobe

A cold cannot spread to you when you do not come in contact with the virus. That makes proximity your number one defense. If you have friends or loved ones that come down with a cold, do your best to remain a healthy distance away from them at all times.

However, despite your best efforts, you'll still likely encounter a cold virus at some point. Hand washing and showering habits are your best bet--and these should become part of your routine immediately. Shower in the morning and in the evening, and be sure to wash your hands multiple times throughout your day for 60 seconds each time.

Preparation Tip #4: Start Exercising Today

The benefits of exercise on your overall health cannot be overstated. When every part of your body is working at high capacity, you're much more likely to have the energy and ability to fight off a virus. Regular exercise also carries benefits specific to cold prevention as well.

For starters, vigorous exercise can help flush bacteria from your lungs and cause your bodily waste to be circulated much more effectively. Also, similar to the way that a fever is used by your body to fight infection, the body temperature increase caused by activity can have a similar effect. So, beginning an exercise regimen that you continue through the cold season--even when feeling a bit off--is a powerful strategy to prevent a cold.

While there's no way to guarantee that you'll never have to deal with the sniffles, these tips can help you improve your chances for a healthy winter. On top of that, your improved immune system will be better equipped to fight any virus that does take hold, making your recovery that much speedier.

For more information, a local office's site likely has some great resources. Check it out!