Avoid the common cold

As one who is recovering from a nasty, post winter cold, I have been racking my brain for the best way to avoid feeling at all like I have this past week. While having health care insurance is great if you have to go to the doctor, it is better to avoid getting that sick in the first place.

Here are some tried and true tips on how to avoid getting sick:

* Wash your hands. This is the number one way to avoid getting sick. Germs live on surfaces and love to travel onto your hand. Once you rub your eyes or touch something that goes into your mouth, you have successfully transferred germs into your system. One rule of thumb: sing “Happy birthday” while you wash your hands. This gives you plenty of time to build up enough suds to wash away those nasty germs. Not near water and soap? Hand sanitizer, while not as good as good ol’ soap and water, is better than nothing. Hand sanitizer has a high concentration of alcohol which is a great germ killer. It just has a harder time washing off dirt.
* Eat healthy. When your body is surviving off a junk foods, everything starts to head downhill, including your immune system. Get enough of your fruits and veggies, which have plenty of vitamins and minerals (and none of those awful saturated fats) that keep you healthy. For good measure, make sure you get enough protein and fiber. This keeps your diet well balanced. Avoid fast food and other processed foods. If you feel you are deficient is some of these areas, work hard and take it one step at a time. Multi-vitamins are another great way to pad your diet with extra nutrients.
* Drink lots of water. Water is one of the most (if not the most) natural things to put in your body. It helps flush out your system and keeps your body hydrated. Water is also a great weight loss tool, as your body often thinks you are hungry when really you are just thirsty. Drink up and fee better.
* Get enough sleep. The number of hours you should sleep every night is different for every person, but the average number is 8 hours a night. One way to test out your sleep number is to fall asleep at a decent hour and let your body wake itself up. Do this for a few nights in a row so your body can adjust and your body will tell you how much sleep you need each night. Good quality of sleep is more important than just a number. Studies show you get better sleep before midnight than after. Sleeping is when your body refuels for the next day. Without that fuel, your body has to take nutrients from other parts of your body, leaving you tired and droopy and susceptible to disease. Your body replenishes cells when you sleep as well. Get a good mattress and pillow and find what works so you can get the necessary rest.