Think about the people in your life — who gets sick more often and more severely and who doesn’t? New research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine says that chances are, those who seem to always avoid colds or only suffer symptoms for a short blip are fitter than those who don’t.
Researchers looked at 1,000 adults’ respiratory health for 12 weeks during the autumn and winter of 2008. They also looked at the subjects self-reported data on how frequently they participated in aerobic exercise, their fitness level, what their lifestyle was like, what foods they ate and any recent stressful events, as all can affect the immune system. As you might imagine, the overall number of days of cold symptoms was different in winter and autumn — in winter the subjects had an average of 13 days of cold symptoms and 18 days in the fall. (more…)
Pamela Ofstein is the Director of Nutrition Services at eDiets.com, a leading provider of weight loss services, information and products.
I wish I could say there is a flawless remedy for the common cold or flu, but really there isn’t one to date. Avoiding getting sick is the first line of attack. First, keep washing those hands; second, incorporate a healthy lifestyle (eating, exercising, sleeping, etc.); and lastly, avoid all those friends and family you know who are sick!
Here are a few things to eat to help you stay healthy, fight off infections, and boost your immune system (notice the abundance of antioxidants):
- Fruits and veggies (dark green, red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables)
- Foods with B-6 (lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds)
- Vitamin E-rich foods (nuts, mango, blueberries, papaya, pumpkin)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon)
- Garlic (go for the raw garlic)
- Yogurt (I know it’s usually recommended to avoid dairy, but studies show that it can help reduce susceptibility to colds) (more…)
Josie Maurer, creator of YumYucky.com, spreads the message of finding balance between fitness and your greedy side. She lost over 40 pounds after the birth of her fourth child through sensible eating and exercise, yet she still maintains her love for large slices of cake.
You’re sneezing and throat-hacking. You may cough up a lung. Your head feels 10,000 pounds heavy and your nostrils are host to a faucet of liquid boogers. Cold and flu season is approaching. Are you ready to do battle?
Germs are pretty sneaky. Today’s innocent sneezing fit could very well morph into a barrage of “I can’t go to work” cold symptoms by the time tomorrow comes. But there’s a way to put those symptoms in a headlock and quite possibly bounce back faster. There are 5 natural remedies you can wield against a cold. (more…)
October is here, and it brought the cold and flu season with it. There’s a lot of little things you can do to protect yourself from these pesky and sometimes dangerous viruses. There are many tips for staying healthy during these winter months, like wash your hands, disinfect shopping cart handles, get a flu shot, and lose weight.
I did, in fact, say you should lose weight in order to reduce your risks of contracting the cold or flu this year. I really wasn’t surprised when I read about this. Obesity causes and exacerbates so many ailments including heart disease, periodontal disease and diabetes by impeding our immune systems. Past research has clearly linked obesity and the inability to fight off the cold and flu virus. (more…)
Like it or not, cold and flu season is straight ahead and coming fast. Along with the great things about fall/winter – cooler weather, crisp breezes, fall colors, great holidays – often comes runny noses, fevers, coughing and sore throats.
Odds are good that everyone is going to get at least one illness between now and the spring, but there are things you can do to avoid getting sick. Here are some tried and true tricks, as well as a few that are not proven but anecdotal.
What would you add to this list?
- It sounds remedial, but as much as you can, avoid others who are ill. That sounds like a no-brainer – no one really wants to be around those who are sick, but the reality is, people come to work every day ill. Stay at least 3 feet away from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- By the same token, if you are ill, stay home. As important as you are in your job, no one is indispensable and you won’t perform at an adequate level anyway. So stay home and…
- REST. As much as you can, rest. This applies to you when you are healthy, as well. Sleep is your body’s way of repairing itself, and if you don’t allow your body to relax and rejuvenate, you will burn out and then your body has no defenses to fight off germs. (more…)
This is a guest post by Roxane Dover of Silicon Valley, California. Rox chronicles her family’s antics, her fitness journey, and a whole lot of other fun stuff on her blog, Rox and Roll.
There’s nothing like getting really sick to make one appreciate healthy living. For me, my wake-up call came in the form of H1N1, which became pneumonia, which became a year of grappling with incapacitating lung issues, some of which will never abate. When I asked my doctor what to do to prevent matters from worsening, he insisted that a strengthening, rigorous exercise program was as important as the mounds of medication I now take. I was no stranger to fitness before getting sick, having played tennis avidly and attended gym classes regularly, but the year off, while necessary, had taken its toll – and the end-game had changed. (more…)
The most effective way to fight the flu is to be vaccinated, which causes your body to make antibodies that target specific illnesses. That’s what most experts will say, anyway.
But, nature may be just as effective. Your diet can provide a boost to your immune system, which can help you get through the flu season without so much as a sniffle. Here are some of the best immune-boosting foods, with a couple lesser known choices:
Vampires are popular these days. Will their nemesis, garlic, follow? The stinking rose, as it’s sometimes called, contains allicin, a phytochemical that may lower cholesterol and make blood platelets less sticky, which cuts the risk of clots.
But, this tasty relative of the onion has more to offer.
“Garlic apparently stimulates the body’s immune system, particularly enhancing the macrophages and lymphocytes, which destroy cancer cells,” says Dr. Benjamin Lau, physician and author of the book, Garlic for Health. (more…)
Along with fall comes the seasonal flu. It’s inevitable. People at high risk of catching the flu should protect themselves first and foremost with a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has great information on steps you can take to prevent a flu infection. It includes the basics like washing your hands and avoiding people who exhibit flu-like symptoms. But I’m going to focus on an area that is often overlooked – your immune system.
The job of your immune system is to protect your body from bacterial and viral infections, such as the ones that cause the common cold and seasonal flu. The immune system protects you in three different ways:
- It creates a barrier that prevents bacteria and viruses from entering your body (your skin).
- If a bacteria or virus does enter the body, the immune system tries to detect and eliminate it before it can make itself at home and reproduce.
- If the virus or bacteria is able to reproduce and start causing problems, your immune system is in charge of eliminating it. (more…)
I’ve always thought that the idea of the flu being more common in the winter was just an old wives tale. But apparently, not only is it actually true, but experts now know why.
A new study found that influenza germs last longer and pass from person to person more effectively in lower absolute humidity, when it’s cold outside and the air is dryer. Absolute humidity is a measurement of the total amount of water vapor in the air at a given temperature. (more…)
Flu season is here and it is nearly impossible to avoid catching the cold. I have come up with a few ways to help you prevent this from happening. I am definitely a germ-a-phobe and pretty much go to the extreme when it comes to touching rails, door handles, or even shaking hands. I avoid touching rails whenever possible and use paper towels to turn or open door handles. I like to wash my hands every hour while at work and I encourage you to do so as well. Proper diet, sleep, and exercise will also help lower the chances of you catching the cold bug. Eating a variety of foods such as fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, and grains will provide your body with the proper minerals and nutrients to help protect and fight against the flu.
So, while working out, I encourage you to:
1. Wash your hands every 10 to 15 minutes
2. Wipe down and disinfect the machines after using them
3. If there is hand sanitizer available, use it whenever possible
4. Use paper towels to open door handles
5. Avoid touching rails on stairs
6. Eat a well balanced diet
7. Get enough sleep
8. Work-out consistantly