Niagara Gazette


January 20, 2013

FIT FOR LIFE: Try these ideas to keep the common cold at bay

Niagara Gazette — If I hear one more person complain that this is the time of year for colds, flu and sickness, I’ll make them attempt to replicate Wallendas’ epic walk, untethered!

The truth is, the flu doesn’t keep a calendar. It is unaware that the Mayans were wrong and we are indeed, still alive, just waiting to be infected.

The fact of the matter is we’re constantly being attacked by pathogens, along with coming in contact with people who forgot its proper etiquette to cover their nose or mouth when they sneeze or cough. So other than avoiding people altogether, what can we do?

Manage Our Stress -

Back in the caveman days, we only had to worry about finding lunch or becoming lunch. Life today presents many additional stressors, such as: your boss, your spouse, scoring Justin Bieber tickets, worrying if global warming is real or not. Our body is not designed to handle long bouts of stress. It raises our cortisol levels, prolong elevated cortisol, which will eventually weaken our immune system ... and then – PRESTO! “Flu Season” has one more hit than Taylor Swift.

Don’t let the stress take you over! Active recovery and a good workout can keep you healthy. After a good sweat, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll also be satisfied that you “put in work.” So, remember the old adage, an ounce of prevention ... and try these suggestions to stay healthy.

The Importance of Sleep

So, how do we maximize our ability to sleep?

I know you are hoping for me to suggest some ancient Brazilian bonsai tree leave juice tonic to help you de-stress, but just as important as any fitness regime or psychological advice is simply getting good sleep. Sleep is a very powerful tool for combating “cold and flu season.” Research has shown that reduced sleep weakens the immune system. Don’t believe it? Than why is sleep deprivation used as an interrogation tactic? Try staying awake for more than 24 hours straight and let me know how you feel. Getting good, restful nights of sleep is a great way to battle stress and low energy.

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