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Subtle Lifestyle Changes to Keep Colds Away

lifestyleBy now, most medically savvy individuals know that colds are caused by viruses and that we can only treat their symptoms, not their causes. But several studies have shown that there are seemingly minute lifestyle choices that can influence our susceptibility to infectious diseases. This means we can take slight preventive measures against cold infections, and they are particularly useful during the fall and winter months, when common cold infections are prevalent.

Did you know that the quality of your sleep influences your resistance to colds?

Adjusting your schedule to incorporate regular sleep can help you become healthier. Surprisingly, a 2009 study found a connection between vulnerability to cold and sleeping habits. To test the premise that getting a good night's rest optimizes immune function, scientists monitored the sleeping patterns of a group of healthy young adults, prior to being infected with a common cold virus strain. The study concluded that the people who get more sleep and better quality sleep are more resistant to infection. Commonly, a minimum of eight hours sleep is recommended.

Cold spreads during cold seasons because people tend to prefer crowded areas

The traditional theory says that you catch colds during winter because of cold weather. In reality, people are more likely to stay indoors or use crowded means of transportation during colder seasons, which increases their chances of being exposed to potential carriers of the cold viruses. Avoiding crowded areas (public transport, supermarkets, concerts, etc) as much as possible, will significantly lower the chances of contracting an infection. Choose to do your shopping at open markets whenever you can and ride your bicycle to get around, rather than using the local bus or subway. It won't only keep you safe from colds, but will also keep you fit!

Best defense is good prevention. Wash your hands regularly!

This timeless method is still one of the best ways to stop the spread of disease. Proper hygiene is an essential prevention technique that will fend off numerous types of infectious diseases, including colds. Keep your hands, face, clothing, and household surfaces sanitized, and you have already won a major battle against cold. If you come in contact with frequently used objects (such as door handles, or money) avoid touching your face before you can properly sanitize your hands. Using disposable towels and wet tissues can also help prevent the spread of viruses, even between members of the same household.

As most know, "prevention is the best medicine". The impact on health from a small, even temporary, change in food choices can mean the difference between "calling in sick" and "taking advantage of a sick day" to do some extra holiday shopping!

By Michelle Bosmier
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Subtle Lifestyle Changes to Keep Colds Away