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5 Tips for Minimizing and Treating the Common Cold

Cold and flu season is hitting full force. Most public spaces are crawling with germs ready to sicken you, your kids, and your associates. Here are the best ways for minimizing your risks of catching the germs that make you sick and treating them when they do:

1. Wash your hands obsessively with a non antibacterial soap and avoid contamination. Colds and flus are caused by viral infections and direct contact with a sick person will likely make you sick. Colds and flus peak in September and May so be certain to be extra careful when out in public spaces which are a cesspool for contaminations of all varieties. Steer clear of sick people and avoid contact with items they have touched. Also, try not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes with unwashed hands as droplets from viruses can enter your system via these areas.

2. Eat well and only when you're hungry. The surest way to fire up your immune system is to eat only food which is good for you: meat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and occasional grains. Conversely, you'll tap your immune system out when you're not feeling well if you eat when or if you experience loss of appetite. Heed your body's signals if you're under the weather and not that hungry, as it's the way your immune system conserves energy to fight off pathogens.

3. Drink and stay hydrated. Keeping your body hydrated is necessary to preserve or regain health. Water, tea, broths, and significantly diluted natural juices will keep your system functioning at its best when you're healthy. When you're under the weather, especially when feverish, it's absolutely necessary to take in extra fluids. Hot fluids have a particularly soothing effect, especially with upper respiratory infections and flus.

4. Rest. If you are not feeling well, be sure to get extra rest. Your body's defenses are run down and it will take longer to get them back up without additional rest. Sleep is essential to fighting off illness and preserving good health. Try to put in eight straight hours with your pillow as this is usually what a body needs to stay healthy (though some people need more or less.)

5. Try Home Remedies and Over The Counter Products. Honey is a fabulous exilir for sore throats and coughs. A hot salt water gargle often helps with a sore throat. Peppermint and ginger is great for settling an upset stomach or reducing flu symptoms. Taking Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc, and Echinacea also help bolster natural immunity. As a last resort, going to the pharmacy for Mucinex, Robtussin, and other over the counter symptom relievers may at least help you get a good rest. Use OTC products sparingly. Be sure to heed drug interaction warnings and know the signs of an allergic reaction in addition to dosing requirements.

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