As the weather gets cooler, clothes get warmer and noses get wetter. Itís cold season. There is nothing like the first cold snap of the year to give you a runny nose and a light cough. But maybe this year you can avoid getting a cold or even something worse like the flu. Are you ready for cold season?
Colds and other diseases are spread through germs, bacteria or viruses. All of these can be spread through the air, through contact, and through fluids. The flu and colds are all viruses. Bacteria cause things like infections and meningitis. Germs are simply tiny organisms that cause disease, so the term can actually include both viruses and bacteria.
Bacteria can be killed with antibiotics, but there is currently no sure cure for most viruses. In fact, when we do develop a cure for a virus, the organism (the virus) actually mutates and changes to something that can overcome the cure. This means we are constantly battling new viruses. Fortunately, the body is designed to fight viruses and other germs. The white blood cells that are part of your immune system attack and kill germs and viruses helping to keep you healthy and speed up the healing process.
So to avoid getting sick this winter, there are really only two things to do.
1.Keep germs away.
2.Be sure your body can kill the ones that get in quickly.
Keeping Germs Away
The best way to keep germs away is to wash your hands. And I donít mean just before meals, I mean constantly. Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag and clean your hands once an hour or more often if you think about it. Germs can linger on surfaces, so any time you touch something that someone else has (which is constantly); you are running the risk of picking up germs. Then, when those germs make it inside your body, usually through your mouth, you can wind up sick.
So the ideal solution is to avoid germs or to kill them before they make it in. Washing your hands with warm water and plenty of soap for as long as it takes you to sing ďTwinkle, Twinkle Little Star,Ē is a good start. But if you only wash your hands when you go to the bathroom (which you should, of course), you are still giving you body plenty of times to pick up germs from your desk in the classroom, any phone, your locker, tables in the cafeteria, library books, and even your friends. So sanitize. And then when you think about it Ė sanitize again. Itís also a good idea to not eat or drink after your friends as that is simply inviting any germs into your body.
Killing Germs That Make It In
Once germs make it inside your body, you have more work to do. Your body will immediately attack the germ, but you must give your body as much fighting power as possible. This means keeping your immune system healthy. A balanced diet can give your body fuel. Go heavy on citrus foods like oranges and lemons and lighten the caffeine as it can hurt your immune system. Drink plenty of water to keep your system running well and get plenty of sleep. Your body heals while you are sleeping, so give it a chance. Also, be sure to get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Hopefully youíll not only feel better rested and more in balance, youíll stay healthier, too.