6 Ways to Fend off a Cold or Flu

You live a very busy life, and when you add decorating the house, holiday shopping and making delicious food, your life gets even busier. A hectic lifestyle is a gold-plated invitation for stress, and stress weakens your immune system.

Take care of yourself during this busy season. These simple steps will keep you healthy, without adding to your to-do list.

Wash Up

A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill revealed that the number one way to avoid getting sick is by washing your hands with soap and water. The study showed that after 10 seconds, 90 percent of bacteria on the hands were eliminated. Rinsing your nasal passages with saline not only removes the rhinovirus (leading cause of the common cold), but it keeps things moist, helping to avoid infection.

Travel Well

If you board a plane to visit family, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to reduce your chance of getting sick by 50 percent. Because airline cabins are dry, stay hydrated to keep your membranes moisturized. Move the air vent so that it hits your chest; this will protect you from being exposed to infection.

Eat Fruit and Veggies

Nature's bounty is loaded with vitamins and minerals, providing easily absorbed nutrients that keep your immune system strong. Excess sugar will interfere with your white blood cells' response to invading bacteria, leaving you susceptible to illness.

Sweet Dreams

Lack of sleep is stressful to your body and mind, making it easy for you to catch virus. Plus, research shows that loss of productive sleep may alter your sense of hunger, which drives you to eat more.

Slow Down

In your busy life, it's important to enjoy the little things, and this naturally slows you down. Sip a cup of jasmine green tea in the morning, and enjoy the floral scent and warm liquid. Curl up with a book once a week, take a brisk walk in nature, or go to your favorite fitness class. Research shows that people under pressure are 75 percent more likely to get a cold.

Get your Bs and Cs

B vitamins are necessary for normal functioning of the nervous system, and may be the most important factor in maintaining healthy nerve tissue. Taking vitamin C blocks infection, and reduces the duration of a cold by up to two days.  

Taking care of yourself doesn't have to add to a busy schedule. Follow these easy steps, and you can enjoy the holidays instead of suffering with the sniffles.

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Judi Sheppard Missett, who turned her love of jazz dance into a worldwide dance exercise phenomenon, founded the Jazzercise dance fitness program in 1969. The workout program, which offers a fusion of jazz dance, resistance training, Pilates, yoga and cardio box movements, has positively affected millions of people. Benefits include increased cardiovascular endurance, strength and flexibility, as well as an overall "feel good" factor.  For more information go to jazzercise.com or call (800) FIT-IS-IT.

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