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5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick this Winter

Update Date: Dec 21, 2013 11:16 AM EST

As the winter season approaches, the number of cases of the common cold tends to soar. During this time of the year, people tend to stay indoors where germs can build up. Despite being warm, if people are not careful, the common cold can spread quickly from one family member to another. In order to reduce one's risk of getting sick, here are five tips.

1. Remember to Wash your Hands

Parents teach children at a young age to always wash their hands and to do so with soap. Throughout the course of a day, hands touch so many different surfaces and undoubtedly pick up bacteria. People should remember to wash their hands with soap for at least 20 seconds under running water.

2. Cover Your Nose and Mouth

In order to prevent the spread of bacteria, people should also remember to cover their noses when they sneeze and their mouths when they cough. Sneezing into one's arm or into a tissue could prevent germs from getting onto one's hand and spreading to others. Once again, after sneezing and coughing, people should remember to wash their hands.

3. Eat Well

Food can play a huge factor in building up one's immune system, which is why eating healthy can help reduce a person's risk of getting sick. Certain foods to stock up on are garlic, soups and lots of fruits and vegetables. Garlic has long been tied to fighting coughs. Soups, particularly chicken noodle soups, have natural anti-inflammatory properties. Vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants that help boost people's immune systems.

4. Sleep Well

Getting a good night's rest is extremely important for both physical and mental health. Studies have tied sleep deprivation to fatigue and impaired cognitive functions. These factors could increase stress levels throughout the day and lower the immune system's response. By getting a good amount of sleep, people can rejuvenate their bodies and remain alert throughout the day to perform the other cold-preventing methods.

5. Disinfect

Even though people should disinfect their house all year old, disinfecting during the wintertime when germs build up can greatly help reduce one's risk of getting sick. Key areas to disinfect are door handles, knobs, kitchen counters and remote controls. For families with young children, disinfecting their toys is very important since young children tend to put things in their mouths.

Regardless of all these methods, sometimes getting sick is inevitable. People must always remember to take care of themselves when they are sick.

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