The arrival of a cold season does not mean you have to pile up the medications and convert your home to a drugstore. Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of Real Cause, Real Cure, claims that recent research shows, certain “tweaks” in your lifestyle can keep cold and flu away by boosting the natural mechanism.
So, here are 11 smart moves through which you can inhibit entry of seasonal conditions.
1. Swishing with salt water.
Studies show that gargling using a mix of 8oz warm water and ½ tsp salt for at least 10 seconds twice a day can cut chances of viral infections by 34%. When we breathe any flu-causing bacteria or virus, it gets stuck in the mucus membrane located at the back of your throat. Salt is a natural antiseptic that flushes out this phlegm causing bacteria, thus reducing physical ailments.
2. Skip depending too much on minor aches/pains.
Medications such as Aspirin, ibuprofen and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID) can suppress the natural protective elements such as white blood cells. That’s right. WBC’s are powerful agents who can fight invading germs. Hence, during the cold season, try to stay clear of such pills unless you truly need them.
3. Get your body moving.
A daily routine of workout can cut your risk of getting cold by 50%, says Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. Regular exercise stimulates the brain thus producing more serotonin, dopamine and other HGH (human growth hormone). These components optimize the production of germ-fighting antibodies, thus making them more aggressive while encountering invaders. Here is more good news – even breaks of exercise for 15 minutes every day can fight free radicals.
4. Tea time
Tea drinkers, rejoice. Research has it that people produce 3x interferons, a powerful protein to tackle virus attacks if they drink 20 oz of black tea daily. Black tea contains antioxidants that can fight body invaders efficiently. For more benefits, let your tea steep for a few minutes and then take a sip. This helps in releasing more disease-fighting antioxidants.
5. The idiot box is not an idiot, anymore.
Studies at Pittsburgh Carnegie Mellon University claims, that turning on the tube for at least 30 minutes can protect your health from viral attacks. Taking a daily break can relax your mood and cut down the risk of developing illness up to 80%. When your mood calms down, the stress level automatically goes down, thus lowering the cortisol level and adrenaline rush as well. This allows the immune system to attack any free radicals in the body.
6. Stress-busting activities.
Indulge in any stress busting activities that will lower your stress levels and strengthen the immunity system up to 76% say experts at the Stony Brook’s State University of NY in Long Island. This is because your body will restore the WBC and the protective antibodies when your stress levels go low.
7. Get good sleep.
Getting good deep sleep can rejuvenate the immunity system and increase its bacteria-fighting properties. In fact, there are studies that show that those who are prone to getting tired have double the risk of staying sick for a prolonged time. Snooze at least for eight hours to reduce your risk of falling sick.
8. Eat breakfast.
The quote “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, needs to be engraved in heart, especially if you are sick. The Netherlands’ Maastricht University Medical Centre claims that regular breakfast eaters are half as likely to be susceptible to viral infections.
As a matter of fact, experts say that following regular breakfast can triple the body’s production of gamma interferon (a natural antiviral compound). The best part is you don’t have to whip anything fancy, just good old A.M. meal works, as long as you feel full.
9. Dust off the sneakers.
While it feels great to be a sloth, it is very bad for the immune system. Based on a study, people who don’t exercise are 3x more likely to catch a cold. “A good workout can strengthen the immune boosting agents in the body that can fend off a virus”, says Amber Tully, MD, a physician at the Cleveland Clinic. For those who feel difficult to get an hour of workout can break up the sessions for 15 minutes twice of thrice a day. Fitness freaks who followed the routine of 10 minutes 2-x3x of exercise a day got in better shape within 3 weeks, says Arizona State University Research.
10. Early to bed and early to rise.
That’s right. Those who sleep late or at uneven routines are 4x more likely to catch a cold, as per a study in Journal Sleep. “Not getting proper sleep can make the T-cells go weak and effective”, says Holly Philips, MD, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough. So schedule your sleeping time correctly and make sure it is a definite priority. Also, prep your bedroom before you tune off for the day – dim lights, remove/switch off electronic devices (tablets, smartphones, laptop etc.) from your bedroom for better sleep.
11. Hand sanitizers are still efficient.
While alcohol-based gels seem easy and convenient, good old-fashioned soap and water are simply the best in eradicating germs on hands, says a review in the American Journal of Public Health. Always choose soap and water as your primary defense mechanism – make sure to clean forgotten areas such as the back of your hands. Only when you can’t reach the sink, go for the 60% alcohol hand sanitizer.