Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Being Sick and Whatnot

Inspired by my sickness, I did some late-night-I-can't-sleep-'cause-I'm-sick-research and wrote up a little something on how to prevent catching a cold. I know, I know, but there are some good bits of knowledge.

Being sick isn't fun. Let's face it, the runny noise, the hand full of Kleenex, the chapped lips and clammy hands don't quite add up to us at our most attractive. As winter approaches, so do common illnesses like the flu, colds and even just plain old allergies.

If you're anything like me, I can't stand needles. Therefore, flu shots are out. So, without this immunization, am I left defenseless? Well, no, not really. To avoid these winter-season ailments, I have some sage-like advice.

First and foremost, wash your hands. You would be amazed as to how many germs and bacteria are exchanged simply with our hands. Everything we touch throughout the day - people, objects, food - all have easily transmittable germs, some of which can cause colds. Actually, there are over 200 known viruses that can cause colds and most of which can be killed by just simple use of hot water and a bit of soap for 15 seconds. Touching your face, nose, eyes and mouth with germy hands greatly increases the chances of disease to enter the body. Don't make a germ's job easier.

Take vitamins. Even before the cold is on your radar, take vitamins consistently - especially vitamin C, which is the best helper for immune system. If you miss out on vitamins before you catch the cold, it is not too late to start. Increase vitamin C intake while having your cold will boost you immune system and will help wash away waste. The Naked juices in the cage are particularly helpful in this area.

Don't share towels. Even if your roomie swore he or she "just washed it," don't use it. Germs can live for hours in cloth towels, and your shower towel is no exception.

Live healthily. Drink more water, get enough sleep, eat properly and maintain a steady exercise routine. We are supposed to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. When you're sick, drink even more because water helps flush your body of harmful toxins. Sleep is always important. While you are asleep, your immune system maintains a high level of activity to protect you from illnesses. Believe it or not this helps. However, don't go overboard. Some studies suggest that too much sleep actually make cause more harm than good. So keep it within reason. Eating healthy is always important. Having enough energy is why we eat, and when we're sick, our immune system goes into overdrive, and therefore, we need more energy. I've always been under the impression of "feed a fever, starve a cold," but that is wrong - always eat. Lastly, maintain a consistent workout routine. Try to work out three to four times a week, even if it is a light jog or only 20 minutes of activity, something is better than nothing.

Lastly, hold back on alcohol intake, especially when you're sick. Alcohol doesn't help with dehydration, and dehydration may decrease your resistance against bacteria and other germs.


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