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Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu Infection

http://www.chinese.cn 14:19, November 24, 2009 Xinhua News Agency

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As the number of H1N1 flu cases increases, it becomes even more important to prevent and stay healthy.
Tips to Prevent Cold and Flu Infection

As the number of H1N1 flu cases increases, it becomes even more important to prevent and stay healthy. A proactive approach to warding off colds and flu is apt to make your whole life healthier. The most effective way to prevent flu, frankly, is to get a flu shot. It may not be natural, but it works better than anything else. But there are other strategies you can employ as well.

1. Wash Your Hands

Most cold and flu viruses are spread by direct contact. Someone who has the flu sneezes onto their hand, and then touches the telephone, the keyboard, a kitchen glass. The germs can live for hours -- in some cases weeks -- only to be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. So wash your hands often. If no sink is available, rub your hands together very hard for a minute or so. That also helps break up most of the cold germs.

2. Don't Cover Your Sneezes and Coughs with Your Hands

Because germs and viruses cling to your bare hands, muffling coughs and sneezes with your hands results in passing along your germs to others. When you feel a sneeze or cough coming, use a tissue, then throw it away immediately. If you don't have a tissue, turn your head away from people near you and cough into the air.

3. Don't Touch Your Face

Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching their faces is the major way people catch colds.

4. Drink Plenty of Fluids

Water flushes your system, washing out the poisons as it rehydrates you. A typical, healthy adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of fluids each day. How can you tell if you're getting enough liquid? If the color of your urine runs close to clear, you're getting enough. If it's deep yellow, you need more fluids.

5. Take a Sauna

Researchers aren't clear about the exact role saunas play in prevention, but one 1989 German study found that people who steamed twice a week got half as many colds as those who didn't. One theory: When you take a sauna you inhale air hotter than 80 degrees, a temperature too hot for cold and flu viruses to survive.

6. Get Fresh Airs

A regular dose of fresh air is important, especially in cold weather when central heating dries you out and makes your body more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Also, during cold weather more people stay indoors, which means more germs are circulating in crowded, dry rooms, open windows when weather permits to circulate fresh air.

7. Do Aerobic Exercise Regularly

Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood, makes you breathe faster to help transfer oxygen from your lungs to your blood, and make you sweat once your body heats up. These exercises help increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.

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