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How to Prevent the Common Cold

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It’s that time of year—the time of year when you want to rush into your office and shut the door to keep the germs out; the time of year when you want to stand at least five feet from everyone you talk to; the time of year when you’d rather tap fists instead of shake hands to say hello. Instead of going to those extremes, we’ve got something else that can help you ward off disease… I’m talking about exercise! It is believed that moderate exercise and physical activity throughout the week can reduce the number of colds you get in a year.

You may already know that exercise helps prevent the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, but did you know it can also help you ward off the common cold? The answer is yes! According to the Harvard Medical School, a healthy lifestyle is the single best step you can take toward keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Regular exercise keeps your body strong, alert and ready for battle! According to the publication, exercise contributes directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

So as the temperature begins to change and we enter cold & flu season, remember these healthy lifestyle practices to help you defend against the common cold:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in saturated fat.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Control your blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Get regular medical screening tests for people in your age group and risk category

 

Source: “How to Boost Your Immune System,” Harvard School of Medicine

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