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Avoiding Winter Illnesses

Over the course of one year, 1 billion Americans will suffer from the common cold, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also reports that winter is peak cold season. This should come as no surprise when you think about how many people you see sneezing and coughing during the colder months. Fortunately, you can keep these illnesses at bay and stay healthy with a little effort. Here’s how:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay away from others when you feel under the weather.

  • Wash your hands often using soap and warm water to protect against germs.

  • Get plenty of sleep, stay physically active and drink plenty of water to keep your immune system strong.

  • Manage your stress and eat a nutritious diet rich in healthy grains, fruits, vegetables and fiber.

  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands aren’t clean.

  • Take your Fight-amins. Your vitamin D levels may run on E in the winter.

  • Clean your cellphones. Researchers from the University of Arizona found that cellphones carried 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.

Boosting your immune system helps your body fight germs! Start by getting your daily 5 to 9. Salads may not be appealing while you’re fighting the winter cold, but make sure to still get a good supply of vegetables daily.

Exercise - Continue your exercise routine in winter. Rolling out of bed while it's still dark may not seem like the best choice when all snuggled up in your sheets, but getting up and breaking a healthy sweat will help fight the winter bulge and is key to staying healthy during the winter months. Being physically active is the most important lifestyle predictor of taking fewer sick days in autumn and winter, the riskiest seasons for illness.

What does NOT work?

The latest research has again shown that Vitamin C does not prevent colds in the general population although it does appear to shorten colds and reduce their severity.

There is no convincing evidence that garlic, echinacea or multivitamins prevent colds or flu.

Top 10 Winter Illnesses

  1. Colds

  2. Sore throat

  3. Asthma

  4. Norovirus

  5. Painful joints

  6. Cold sores

  7. Heart attacks

  8. Cold hands and feet

  9. Dry skin

  10. Flu

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