If you are looking to keep colds and flu bugs at arm's length, I researched habits of healthy women. Here are eight habits that will help keep you well over the following months.
First, start by upping your vitamin C intake. While the vitamin won't prevent you from catching a cold, it will boost your immune system. And if you do happen to catch a cold, vitamin C will decrease the duration of runny nose time. Try to eat foods naturally high in the vitamin, like citrus fruits and red bell peppers.
- Manage Your Stress, Try a Massage - Constant tension and chronic worrying deplete your spirit and weaken your immune system. The stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine rise when you are . . . well, stressed, and elevated levels of these two hormones can weaken your immune system. A massage is a great way to de-stress, and it may boost your immune system.
- Regular Moderate Exercise - Getting your heart rate up regularly keeps you healthy in the long term and during cold and flu season. When you exercise, your immune cells move with increased speed throughout your body, attacking pesky bacteria and viruses. This effect lasts for a few hours post-workout, but if you're exercising moderately every day, the phenomenon lasts longer.
- Gargling - Many women attest that garling regularly with antiseptic mouthwash helps them stay well during cold and flu season. This is worth a shot because it's good for your gums as well.
- Maintain a Positive Attitude - If you are sitting next to someone on the bus and they sneeze, don't be that person who says, "I know I am going to get sick," because your body just might listen to your brain. It's not all woo-woo; the brain communicates with the immune system, and vice versa. Fight those germs with your attitude.
- Arm Yourself With Good Bacteria - Probiotics have been found to bolster the immune system. These good bacteria - lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium animalis - help keep fevers and sniffles away.
- Queue Up With Quercetin -The antioxidant quercetin is believed to pump up the immune system of people under stress. It can be found in red apples, broccoli, and green tea. So eat and drink up.
- Suds Up and Wash Your Hands - Just a friendly reminder to wash your hands frequently. This is your best defense against catching a stray bug. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap (the temperature doesn't matter) for 20 seconds. When you can't get to a sink, hand sanitizer kills many types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Just remember, hand sanitizer doesn't kill norovirus, which causes gastroenteritis.
- Which of these habits do you already practice? - Take Our Poll here.
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