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Making the Common Cold—Uncommon

It seems many people practically expect a bout with a cold or even the flu each year. But getting these common afflictions doesn’t have to be regular occurrence. Become more mindful of the countless preventative steps you can take. Here’s how to avoid becoming a hospitable host for the bug that’s going around:

Improve your diet.

Make sure your body has the raw materials it needs to keep itself in good repair. Avoid processed foods and convenience foods that are often stripped of their nutritional value and are often loaded with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. Supplement as needed.

Get enough restful sleep.

There is a growing awareness about the importance of sleep on our overall health and well-being. Most of us could benefit from seven or more hours. Without enough rest it’s tempting to rely on tobacco, coffee, sweets or energy drinks to fool ourselves into thinking we have plenty of energy.

Exercise regularly.

Unlike our circulatory system that relies on the heart, your lymphatic system depends upon exercise and movement to circulate these germ-fighting fluids. Most of us sit most of the day, take the escalator and look for the closest parking spot. Instead, look for ways to keep active and add more stairs and steps to your day.

Wash your hands.

No need to become obsessive, but regular hand washing is one of the most effective ways to stay healthy. Many germs enter our body by using our dirty hands and fingers to rub our eyes, pick our nose or wipe our lips. No need to use scalding hot water either. Your hands can’t withstand the temperature necessary to kill germs.

Maintain a positive attitude.

Our thoughts can dramatically affect our health. Ignore media attempts to inject the autosuggestion that “it’s cold and flu season.” There’s no such thing. Instead, remain upbeat and optimistic.

Reduce stress.

Lower your physical, chemical and emotional stress levels. Are you prone to worry and fear? Spend time in quiet meditation, prayer or being still in a natural setting. Many find relief by conducting a media fast, eschewing all forms of media for a month or longer.

Stay hydrated.

We’re mostly water. Our body relies on this fluid to conduct millions of functions, especially that of our immune system. If you wait until your body alerts you that you’re feeling thirsty, you’ve probably waited too long. Drink enough water so your urine is a light straw color rather than dark and concentrated.

Our immune system (working in concert with our nervous system) successfully fends off germs and other pathogens 24/7. All, without a conscious thought from us. We’re not notified when your immune system successfully neutralizes them. We only notice on those rare occasions when it doesn’t. Remember, it’s easier to stay well than to get well.

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