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A HEALTHIER YOU  Friday, October 15, 2010

Along with shorter days and colder nights, comes cold and flu season. While germs are unavoidable, there are some things you can do to protect yourself from catching and spreading them.

First defense— hand washing. Stop the spread of germs before they start by washing your hands before preparing food, after using the restroom, and when you notice they are dirty. This is especially important for young children who tend to put them in their mouth. And remember there are two sides to every story, so work up a soapy lather on the tops and palms. Lastly, don’t use a tissue to catch coughs and sneezes.

Drink plenty of fluids. Water is always the best choice, as it helps “flush” your system and keep you hydrated. Avoid sugary or caffeinated beverages which tend to deplete your body of water, and may interrupt your sleep cycle.

Proper rest. Try tucking in early when you feel the onset of a cold to give your body time to heal itself. Make sure you have a glass of water at your nightstand for middle of the night dry throat and add an extra pillow to elevate your head if you’re congested.

[Web MD]