Editorial: Wash your hands

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 22, 2007

The colder months have arrived and the season for getting sick is upon us. It always seems like the worst wave of illness happens at the start. The flu shot is not a magic bullet that prevents everything. People need to remember to take other precautions, too.

According to Web MD, here are natural steps people should take:

1. Wash your hands. This kills germs you encounter on yourself or the people and things you touch. If you can&8217;t wash your hands, Web MD suggests bringing a sanitizer or even rubbing your hands together very hard for a minute.

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2. Don&8217;t cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands. When you cover your mouth with your hands, you end up passing germs to others. Use a tissue, a cloth or turn away from others.

3. Don&8217;t touch your face.

Web MD says the major way children catch viruses is touching their faces.

4. Drink plenty of fluids.

Water cleanses your system. Web MD says: &8220;If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you&8217;re getting enough. If it&8217;s deep yellow, you need more fluids.&8221;

5. Take a sauna, if you can.

There is a theory that occasionally breathing air hotter than 80 degrees prevents sickness because it is too hot for the viruses to survive.

6. Get fresh air.

The cold and flu viruses circulate in crowded, dry rooms, Web MD says. The fresh air helps your body deal with being in a dry environment so much of the time.

7. Do aerobic exercise regularly.

In other words, speed up your heart, sweat a little and get your blood moving. This helps your immune system get the oxygen it needs.

8. Eat foods containing phytochemicals.

Huh? Web MD says it means to eat

your fruits and vegetables.

9. Eat yogurt.

The theory goes that the bacteria in yogurt stimulates the immune system.

10. Don&8217;t smoke.

&8220;Statistics show that heavy smokers get more severe colds and more frequent ones,&8221; Web MD says.

11. Cut alcohol consumption.

The liver already works hard at filtering out poisons, so if it has to work at removing alcohol, too, it makes you prone to illness.

12. Relax.

Web MD says this doesn&8217;t mean &8220;do nothing.&8221; It means learn to handle your stress and stay pleasant and calm.