Hanging Out with Friends
Research shows that the less human ties we have at home, at work and in the community, the more likely we are to become ill. In one study, researchers followed 276 people aged 18 to 55 and found that those with six or more friends were four times better at fighting cold-related viruses than those with fewer friends. You can not always cram into social time for a busy week? Stop by a colleague's office for a quick catch up or email or text to your friends at night to stay in touch when you're too busy for phone calls.
MORE: The 8 Friends Every Woman Needs 19659003] Riding the Humidifier
Photo by John Lawton
Low moisture dries the nasal passages, making it more difficult to trap and the elimination of microorganisms that settle in the sinuses and cause colds. Help humidify the passages by running a humidifier 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, says Tieraona Low Dog, MD, and keep it clean by following the manufacturer's instructions. Want an extra kick to fight the cold? Add five drops of oregano, eucalyptus or peppermint oil to the tank to reduce germs and freshen up the air. (Watch out for these 7 signs, your essential oils are fake.)
People with the lowest vitamin D levels were 36% more likely to have upper respiratory tract infections at those with the most D a Harvard study. Do not know if you're getting enough rays? (It's hard to know, especially in the winter.) Experts recommend eating fish, dairy products and supplements to get the 1,000 IU recommended each day. (Check out this list of the best foods containing vitamin D).
Tai Chi Practice
This exercise of the East is raising your body's defenses up to 47% (and even triple the protection get of a flu shot). The secret of the quality of the tai chi elixir, suspects scientists, lies in its slow movements and controlled breathing. Check out the Body Wisdom Media DVD: Tai Chi for Beginners to Learn the Basics
Give Your Brush a Little Breath
Photo by Darren Braun
If someone in your house fell with a case of sniffling, it may seem inevitable that you start sneezing too. A trick to avoid catching their germs: Keep your toothbrushes separate. Put them in separate holders and shake them after use so that they dry quickly. Germs do not grow well on dry surfaces. And of course, avoid sharing toothbrushes (gross!).
MORE: The 10 worst sprouts of germs
Observe the kitchen etiquette
Change your tea towels every day and do not dry the dishes with the same towel you use for your hands. Even better, let them dry in the air. Clean your sponges in the dishwasher and change them often.
Increase Your Omega-3 Intake
If you do not like fish (or do not eat the recommended two servings per week), take an omega-3 supplement every day to reap the awesome immuno-immune properties. -fortifying the fatty acid. Research shows that things can increase the flow of air and protect the lungs from colds and respiratory infections. Look for purified fish oil capsules containing at least 1 g of EPA and DHA.
PLUS: Already sick? Here's how to tell if it's a cold or the flu