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How to Prevent Colds and Flu

Don't Get Sick! Must-Do Habits of Healthy People

Want to avoid getting sick this season? Just look to the habits of the super healthy as your guide! Before the office cold catches up with you, here are four tips that will have you staying healthy, well, and free from the flu all year long.

Regular Exercise
One of the many benefits of having a steady fitness routine is that you're less likely to become sick. Numerous studies have shown that exercise protects against colds and seasonal flus by boosting the immunity system. Studies have also shown that people who exercise regularly get sick less often, and when they do, their illnesses are less severe compared to those who don't exercise. The key is moderation — going overboard on exercise or participating in grueling endurance events can temporarily weaken the body's immune system, which can make individuals more susceptible to illness. To prevent colds and flu, fit in at least three 30-minute sessions of physical activity each week.

Good Hygiene
Germs are everywhere and washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself from them. If you're in a place where germs are rampant (like public transportation, the gym, or airport) make sure to lather up after coming into contact with any surfaces. Keep in mind that killing germs on your body's surface has more to do with friction and less to do about the kind of soap you use. When washing up, put a good 20-30 seconds into the process. Other ways to protect yourself from catching a cold or flu is to avoid touching your face throughout the day, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.

See what other healthy habits will protect you from a cold when you read more.

Proper Nutrition
To decrease your chances of catching a cold or flu, stick to whole foods with an emphasis on fruits and veggies. Eating a french fry isn't going to be the reason you get sick, but robbing your body of essential nutrients might be. Load up on foods rich in antioxidants, which help fight against disease in the body — the richer the food's color, the better. Also make sure you are getting enough vitamin D in your diet; it helps boost the immune system. Other nutrients that have been shown to help protect against cold and flu are omega-3s, ginseng, astragalus, and zinc.

Proper Sleep
One of the easiest ways to protect yourself against a cold is getting enough sleep. Proper rest is important for boosting and fine tuning the body's immune system. The quality of your sleep is also important; a recent study shows that deep sleep is essential in helping our bodies repair and regenerate themselves.

Source: Thinkstock
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