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It’s Cold Season. Avoid the Sickness.

It’s cold season. The more time we spend indoors, the greater our chances of becoming sick. No, I’m not advocating that you stay outside in a blizzard, but I am recommending you do a few things to help stave off the sickness.

Apparently, adults average 3 colds per year and kids can expect between 6 and 12. That’s a whole lot of sickness, just within one family. While it may seem like a challenge, especially if you have little ones in daycare, there are a few simple things you can do that can help.

  1. Allow your child to build an immune system. Purell did not exist during my childhood and like most children, I was not a super regular hand-washer. I also grew up in the country, had many pets, and spent a lot of time at the barn. Also, and you may cringe at this, my father paid little attention to best-before dates on dairy products and other such goodies. I still do the same today. While this is completely anecdotal evidence, I do believe that being exposed to such things has helped my immune system to become the army that it is today (now watch me get a cold). All in all, let your kid be a kid. Eating stuff off the floor, licking toys at school, and getting into the garbage (not sure if kids actually do this, more so dogs) is likely beneficial in the long run…unless they eat raw chicken. 
  2. Stop using Purell. Regular hand-washing does the job. By constantly purell-ing ourselves we never give our immune system the chance to practice, to exercise, to perform. An army that doesn’t get regular exercise, is a lazy, slow-to-the-draw kind of army and nobody wants one of those. My recommendation – wash your hands after you go to the washroom and before you prepare a meal. Otherwise, you’re probably good.
  3. Eat colourful fruit and veggies. They do your body a tonne of good.
  4. Forget the Cold FX. It costs a lot of money and it works via the placebo method, if at all. Don’t believe me, read this. Positive thinking, “I won’t get sick. I won’t get sick.” will accomplish much of the same.
  5. Drink water. Aim for the 8 glasses a day, but don’t beat yourself up if you just can’t drink that amount. Perhaps aim for one more glass than you usually drink.
  6. Watch your stress levels. Stress can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to catching the virus. Baths, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends, cooking/baking, exercise, yoga, stretching, being in nature are all great ways to relieve stress.
  7. Exercise. After you exercise, your body goes into repair mode. Your immune system is fairly busy. Yet, this constant workload helps to make the immune system stronger and smarter. I do not, however, recommend exercising when sick. Your body is already working hard enough, let it rest.
  8. Sleep. Go to bed at 8:30 if you must. Sleep when you feel a cold coming on. It will undeniably speed along the recovery process.

There are likely hundreds of other possible remedies, these are just mine. As you can tell, I am not an advocate of supplements or hand sanitizer. Furthermore, I do not take vitamins. I aim to get what I need from what I eat. While many would argue that doing so is impossible, I seem to manage okay. Sickness does not visit me often (seriously, watch me get a cold today) and when it does, it doesn’t stick around for long.

Good luck this flu and cold season.

M

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