7 Steps to Prevent the Common Cold This Season

  1. Wash your hands often with non-antibacterial soap
    • Touching your face (eyes, nose, mouth) exposes your body to foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses.  When we wash our hands with regular (non-antibacterial) soap we reduce the risk of exposing ourselves to viruses and bacteria.  Antibacterial soap contains a toxic chemical called triclosan, which has been shown to be harmful in numerous studies.  The main concerns surround the effects that triclosan has on disrupting our hormones, damaging our organs, and encouraging the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
  2. Limit your sugar intake
    • It has been well-documented that sugar is an “anti-nutrient,” in that it not only provides no nutritional value, it actually takes away nutrients in the body.  Studies have also shown that sugar impairs immune function (sugar/immune system).  Bacteria feed off of sugar, so if you are constantly bringing sugar into your body, you are providing fertilizer for unwanted bacteria to grow more.  This is the case with candida and other unwanted bacteria that can ruin our health.
  3. Exercise, but don’t over-train to the point of taxing your immune system
    • Exercise has been shown to be effective at detoxifying the body through the sweat glands, assisting in bowel movements, increasing our oxygen intake/exhaling toxins, and generally helping to reduce stress on the body.  But, over-training can have the opposite effect by becoming too stressful and running you down.  Make sure you exercise 3-5 days per week at a strong intensity, but also plan on having rest days at least every two days.  If you are feeling run-down, take the opportunity to rest and let your body recover before participating in intense exercise.
  4. Get chiropractic adjustments regularly
    • Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to increase white-blood cell activity and reduce catabolic hormone activity.  Catabolic hormone activity is stressful on the immune system and makes us more prone to illness.  Studies that support this link between chiropractic and the immune system can be found here.
  5. Get good, quality sleep (7-9 hours) on average
    • Our bodies heal primarily during the night time while we are in a deep sleep.  The ideal time for restorative sleep takes place from 10pm-6am.  While we can obviously survive on less sleep, optimally we allow our bodies the proper amount of sleep time (7-9 hours) to function and heal at 100%.
  6. Consume plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, and healthy proteins
    • One huge mistake that many people make in the colder months is that they tend to consume way too many carbohydrates, sweets, and alcohol.  Focus on eating salads, organic animal proteins, and plenty of healthy fats.  A great list of these foods can be found on my website here.
  7. Get outside and breathe fresh air
    • One of the biggest challenges of the colder months is that we’re inside almost all of the time.  Therefore, we are breathing in the same, stale air all day long.  When you are with lots of other people, you end up breathing in the same stale air with people that are carrying viruses or bacteria.  Spend as much time outside as possible to get more fresh air and as much vitamin D (from the sun) as possible.

About the Author:
Dr. Devon Coughlin is a family wellness chiropractor in the South Jersey/Greater Philadelphia area.  He specializes in preventive health care and is certified through the International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association (www.icpa4kids.org) in pediatric, prenatal, and postnatal care.  You can connect with him by visiting www.revolutionchiropracticnj.com

image source: http://www.curejoy.com/content/preventing-and-recovering-from-the-common-cold-and-flu/