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Cold, Flu, & Cough Health Center

8 Natural Tips to Help Prevent a Cold

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    There are no known cures for colds and flu, so cold and flu prevention should be your goal. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make your whole life healthier. The most effective way for preventing the flu is to get the flu shot. It works better than anything else. But there are other strategies you can employ as well. Here are 8 tips you can use to help prevent colds and the flu naturally:

    #1 Wash Your Hands

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    Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto his or her hand and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often. If you can't get to a sink, rub an alcohol-based hand sanitizer onto your hands.

    #2 Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs With Your Hands

    Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands often results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.

    #3 Don't Touch Your Face

    Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way children catch colds and a key way they pass colds on to their parents.

    #4 Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly

    Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood; makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood; and makes you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

    #5 Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals

    "Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in plants give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill, and eat dark green, red, and yellow vegetables and fruits.

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