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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tips for Preventing Cold and Flu

School is back in session and the Fall Season is just around the corner. We all know what that means, right? It's not long before the yucky Cold and Flu season will be among us as well! To help keep all of those germs out of your home, I've teamed up with Healthline to bring you some wonderful tips on how to prevent the Cold and Flu from hitting your family. I hope you find this wonderful Guest Post, from David Novak, just as useful and informative as I did since keeping our family safe and healthy is a parents first priority. Enjoy!

Unfortunately, there are no known cures for colds and flu. Since that’s the case, prevention should be your primary goal. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu can save you a whole lot of misery during the cold and flu season, and preventing them in the first place can make your life a whole lot healthier. The most successful way for preventing the flu is to get the flu shot. It’s more effective than any other method. But if needles aren't your favorite thing, there are other natural strategies you can employ to help prevent colds and the flu:

Don’t Smoke or Drink

Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones. Even being around smoke significantly takes a toll on the immune system. Smoke dries out your nasal passages and paralyzes cilia. These are the delicate hairs that line the mucous membranes in your nose and lungs, and with their wavy movements, sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Without them, it’s known that even one cigarette can paralyze cilia for as long as an hour. Additionally, heavy smoking can also dry out your adrenal glands. So don’t smoke, and if you do, it’s vital you cut down or stop. You’ll reap the benefits for many health reasons.

Heavy alcohol use suppresses the immune system in a variety of ways. Heavier drinkers are more prone to initial infections as well as secondary complications. Alcohol also dehydrates the body, and can cause you to lose more fluids from your system than you ingest. Fluids are great for preventing colds and the flu, and without them, you are more susceptible to contracting these ailments and others. Drastically reducing your alcohol consumption will help you avoid common colds and the flu.

Exercise and Eat “Plants”

Exercise, specifically aerobic exercise, speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood. This obviously makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood, and it makes you sweat once your body heats up. Sweating helps eliminate viral toxins, and exercise itself increases the body's natural virus-killing cells.

Besides exercising, eating well is another proactive and preventative method to reduce the risk of cold and flu. Phytochemicals ("Phyto" means plants), are natural chemicals in plants, which give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. Eating dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits have been proven to nourish the body in a big way, which in turn, supports your immune system and fights off colds and flu.

Wash Your Hands and Avoid Your Face

Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. When someone with the flu sneezes onto his hand and then touches something like an elevator button, a keyboard or a plate, these germs can live for hours on that object, only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often, or use hand sanitizer to thoroughly kill those surface germs. 

Germs and viruses cling to bare hands in a big way. Muffling sneezes and coughs with your hands often results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, and then dispose of it immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

Finally, cold and flu viruses enter your body through the mouth, eyes and nose. Touching your face is the major way people catch colds and a key way they pass colds on to others. So try not to touch your face as often as you’d like.

Don’t Be a Nervous Nelly

If you can teach yourself to relax, sometimes this is the best way to boost your immune system. There's evidence that suggests that relaxation boosts interleukin's into your bloodstream, leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses. You can train yourself to relax through various relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or a massage. Those who can relax will change their blood chemicals, and reduce the risk of catching a flu or a cold.

Article Written By:

David Novak is a international syndicated newspaper columnist, appearing in newspapers, magazines, radio and TV around the world. His byline has appeared in GQ, National Geographic, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, USA Today, among others, and he has appeared on The Today Show, the CBS Morning Show and Paul Harvey Radio. David is a specialist at consumer technology, health and fitness, and he also owns a PR firm and a consulting company where he and his staff focus on these industries. He is a regular contributing editor for Healthline.
For more information, visit


  1. Great tips on keeping healthy! It is amazing how few people realize that colds can be made worse by smoking!

  2. Great tips! I love the exercise and eat plants! So true!


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