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Natural Ways to Protect Against the Common Cold

To guard yourself against the common cold, start by bolstering your immune system with natural methods. Prioritize sleep, aiming for seven to nine hours per night. Sleep is when your body repairs itself; without enough, your immune defenses weaken, making you more susceptible to viruses.

  • Your diet plays a crucial role. Consume foods rich in vitamins C and E, like oranges, kiwis, spinach, and almonds. These nutrients support immune function. Also, avoid processed, prepackaged foods. Instead, consider purchasing as many organic items as your budget allows.

  • Get sun exposure. When possible, spend time outdoors. Enjoy nature and take in the fresh air.

  • Reconnect with the earth. Take your shoes off and spend some time grounding yourself and absorbing the earth’s energy.

  • Staying hydrated is essential. Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, herbal teas, or broths. They help maintain the health of your mucosal lining, a primary defense against respiratory infections.

  • Regular physical activity increases blood circulation and contributes to overall health, including immune response efficiency. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

  • Manage stress effectively. Chronic stress undermines immune function, making you an easy target for cold viruses. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help keep stress in check.

  • Supplement wisely. Zinc supplements, when taken at the onset of cold symptoms, may shorten the duration of the illness. Echinacea and elderberry are also popular for their potential immune-boosting effects.

  • Finally, avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, which can impair your respiratory tract's ability to fend off colds. If you smoke, seek help to quit, and keep away from smoke-filled environments.

By adopting these natural habits, you can strengthen your body's defenses and reduce your chances of catching a cold, keeping you healthier and more active, especially during cold season.

Jennifer Ferdinand, owner of Serendipity Wellness Studio in Burke, VA, has been practicing massage therapy and esthetics since 2006. She is nationally certified through NCBTMB, and licensed in Virginia for both Massage Therapy and Esthetics.

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