There are no known cures for colds and flu, so being prepared by building your own immune system is your best approach if you don’t want to depend on a flu vaccination. Here’s twelve great tips from the American Lung Association, People’s Medical Society, Family Doctor and Medscape that will reduce your chance for any cold or flu infection. Don’t forget to check out the many wellness products and ingredients on our website to help keep your family ahead of the game when it comes to warding off cold and flu viruses.
(1) Wash your hands! Flu and cold viruses are spread by direct contact. Germs can live for hours – sometimes weeks – on telephones , keyboards, doorknobs. You can make your own hand sanitizer by suspending antiviral essential oils in aloe vera gel and saturating paper towels. Cut them into smaller sizes and carry in a ziploc for quick use on the go.
(2) Make sure you sneeze into a Kleenex, or handkerchief because virus germs will cling to your bare hands. Use a tissue and throw it immediately away. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the air, turning away from people.
(3) Colds and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose or mouth. Don’t touch your face! Touching their faces is the most likely way that children catch colds and pass it on to parents and siblings.
(4) Drink plenty of water! Water flushes your system, washing out poisons as it rehydrates. Minimum daily requirement: 36 oz. You can tell if you are getting enough water if your urine runs close to clear; if deep yellow, you need more fluid intake. Don’t mistake coffee, tea or soft drinks for plain old water . . . they don’t count.
(5) Take a sauna. A German research study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who don’t. One theory is that the air you breathe in a sauna is over 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.
(6) Get fresh air, especially in the winter months. Staying indoors puts you in an environment with more germs are circulating, especially in crowds. Sleep with a window open.
(7) Get regular aerobic exercise. Speed up your heart and pump larger quantities of blood throughout your system. This will transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood and increase your body’s natural virus-killing cells.
(8) Eat foods containing phytochemicals. Natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged burst. Eat copious amounts of dark, green, red and yellow vegetables and fruit.
(9) Eat yogurt. Some studies show that eating a daily cup of low-fat yogurt can reduce your susceptibility to colds and flu by as much as 25 percent. It is assumed that the beneficial bacteria in yogurt may stimulate production of the immune system to help fight disease.
(10) Don’t smoke. Heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones. Even being around second-hand smoke profoundly zaps your immune system, dries out nasal passages and paralyzes cilia, the delicate hairs that sweep viruses out of your nasal passages. Experts contend that one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.
(11) Cut alcohol consumption. Heavy alcohol use also suppresses the immune system. and dehydrates your body . . . it actually takes more fluids from your system than it puts in. This makes you prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications.
(12) Finally . . . Relax! Teaching yourself to relax can activate your immune system on demand. Evidence shows that interleukins (the leaders in an immune system response against cold and flu viruses) increase in the bloodstream during relaxing meditation. Train yourself to relax in a positive state by visualization (holding a pleasant picture or image in your mind). Soothing music can aid this process. Remember that relaxation is a learnable skill to create a state of mind; it is not simply doing nothing.
These tips provide a proactive approach to warding off colds and flu and make your whole life healthier. We’ll be back next week to continue our Earth Day Every Day series.
Special continued for another week (through Sunday, May 16): Take an extra 10% off all Samara Synergies. Good time to stock up on First Defense for the family’s flu artillery or Calma for aiding sleep. Many others to choose from. Orders over $35 will also receive a free decorative tea light holder (pictured at left). Enter “Colds & Flu #1” (no quotes) in promotional code on checkout page.