Five Guaranteed Tips for Avoiding Colds

ST. LOUIS -- We sit shoulder to shoulder with others during holiday performances, tightly pack lines waiting to have a photo taken with Santa and mingle with acquaintances at parties. Then we wonder why this is the season when we get colds, which are spread by a virus that hops on surfaces such as our hands and thrives for up to three hours.


Mark Mengel, MD. MPH, chair of the department of community and family medicine at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, has these cold-fighting strategies:


1. Every time you shake hands, make a mental note to wash yours. And wash frequently other times, too. Running lots of water over your hands thoroughly dilutes the virus and sends it down the drain.


2. Try not to touch your nose and eyes. These are places where cold germs to enter your body.


3. Get enough sleep eight to 10 hours a night. You cant fight colds and other bugs as well if you become fatigued because you arent spending enough time in the sack to recharge your battery.


4. If you smoke, stop. Smoking destroys the cilia little hair-like fibers inside our noses and lung tube cells that keep mucus from clogging the lining of the nose and lungs.


5. Dont eat after double dippers at holiday buffets. The person who nabs a second and third dollop of ranch dressing on the same carrot stick may be passing the virus to those who eat after him.


Source: Saint Louis University Health Sciences Center