Cold Prevention

Statistics show you'll catch two to four colds this winter. Didi Gluck, beauty and health director for Real Simple Magazine shares several drug-free strategies for keeping the sniffles away.

First make sure to get enough sleep. Sleep regulates the release of cortisol, a hormone that stimulates the immune system. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep is the easiest way to prevent the common cold. Studies show people who fall short of that are three times as likely to catch a cold.

Moderate exercise increases immune function and reduces your chances of catching a cold. About 30 to 90 minutes most days is good. Prolonged high intensity exercise can actually make you more susceptible to sickness.

A hot-cold shower can help too. Temperature fluctuations jump start your immune system. At the end of a shower, stand under the hottest stream you can take for 30 seconds, then turn the temperature to cold for 10 seconds. Repeat three times, finishing with cold.

If you like oysters eat up. Oysters contain more of the mineral zinc than any other food. Zinc has been proven to support and enhance the immune system. Zinc fortified breakfast cereals, baked beans and pumpkin seeds are filled with zinc and can also help.

Get in your vitamin D. It helps regulate the immune system. Experts suggest taking vitamin D supplements of 1,000 international units or more.

Nasal rinses cleanse nasal passages with a saltwater solution. A daily saline rinse helps sweep bacteria, viruses and irritants from the respiratory tract.

For more information on preventing colds visit RealSimple.com realsimple.com.
Didi Gluck and Erika Wortham

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