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How to Avoid Catching a Cold

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You sneeze. It’s that sneeze. You’re getting sick. Ugh. Here are a few odd ways to fight it off (and prevent it from happening in the first place).

Lather Up

The Minnesota Department of Health says that most of us get sick by hand to mouth contamination, so your first line of defense is good hand washing practices. Get into the habit of washing your hands after using the bathroom and before eating; especially in restaurants after touching the menu, ketchup, salt and pepper and after the grocery store after touching the cart handle. Ish. Turn the water on as hot as you can stand it, get your hands wet, use a pump of soap and scrub for 20 to 30 seconds, rinse your hands, get a paper towel, dry your hands, then use the paper towel to turn off the water and to open the door.

Get Some Tea Time

Green tea is chock full of antioxidants, plus the hot steam off your cup moistens your nose hairs that fight off infections. The steam also breaks up congestion. When you feel that tickle, start sipping green tea. Squeeze in some honey for its antibacterial and throat soothing properties. Add in some lemon for an extra dose of Vitamin C to boost your body’s natural defense system. It’s also important to get plenty of just plain old water to flush those toxins out of your body.

Eat Something

All you may want right now is broth and tea, but make sure you get some protein in the mix, too. Protein builds and repairs muscle tissue, but it’s also very important to the immune system because it fights viral and bacterial infections. If you find yourself under the weather, make sure you get plenty to eat, and make sure to eat healthfully. Get some protein in the mix and eat chicken, lean red meat and beans. They are all good sources of protein. Dairy is also an excellent way to get in your protein, but milk makes mucus, so if you’re already sick, stay away from cheese, yogurt and the like.

Keep It Clean

Research shows that when someone comes to work and they’re sick, it only takes four hours before their germs are all over the office thanks to the touching of elevator buttons, refrigerator doors, coffee pots, door handles and the like and cold and flu germs can live on surfaces for up to 48 hours. Make sure your space is clean. Keep Clorox wipes or an antibacterial spray with paper towels handy; especially during cold and flu season. Wipe your desk when you get in in the morning, and if you don’t have time to do it when you get in, before you eat your breakfast or lunch at your desk, mop up.

Keep Your Hands to Yourself

Speaking of not touching things, it’s just a good rule of thumb to keep your hands to yourself. If you’re sick, and even if you’re not, keep your hands to yourself. Gas pumps, ATMs, elevator buttons, escalator handles, drinking fountains, bank pens, restaurant pens, crosswalk buttons, and vending machines are contaminated with mucus, poop, blood and any other number of disgusting things, so remember to keep your hands to yourself, and if you have to touch stuff, make sure you practice good hand washing habits and if you’re not around soap and water, hand sanitizer will do, and in a pinch, vodka will do the trick, too.

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