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How to Not Get Sick


1) Stay positive. In one study, participants who had heightened activity in a region of the brain associated with a positive attitude produced greater amounts of flu antibodies. Researchers aren't clear on the connection, but they do know "the brain communicates with the immune system, and vice versa," says Anna L. Marsland, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Immunology Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.
2) Get a massage. Most studies show that massage can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and heart rate -- and lowering these is likely to cause your stress level to drop, one key to building immunity. Any type of rubdown is fine, as long as you ask for moderate pressure. The therapist's touch should be vigorous enough to move or indent skin but not so hard that it causes pain.
3) Try a cold shower. Devotees claim cold showers help with low energy, migraines, circulation, and pain reduction. The scientific jury's still out on cold showers, but Mary Ann Bauman, M.D., author of Fight Fatigue: Six Simple Steps to Maximize Your Energy, says there's no harm in trying. Try small doses. Although a 10-minute cold shower might be tolerable in the summertime, in the winter you may want to opt for a 1-minute blast at the end of a warm shower.
4) Try ginger. For centuries, ginger has been the go-to root for a wide range of gastrointestinal distresses, including constipation. Researchers believe its compounds stimulate digestive secretions, improve intestinal muscle tone, and help move food through the gastrointestinal tract.
5) Washing your hands. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand-washing is the number-one action you can take to dodge the 1 billion colds Americans come down with annually (not to mention the bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella, that cause foodborne illnesses).
6) Take Vitamin C. Although vitamin C and zinc for cold prevention remain controversial, some studies show that C is helpful -- especially for people who are under extreme stress -- and that zinc can prevent viruses from multiplying. Experts say there's no harm in trying.
7) Eat more garlic. Garlic is rich in antioxidants that boost immunity and fight inflammation, says Carmia Borek, Ph.D., research professor in the department of public health and family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. That means the herb, in addition to boosting defenses against everyday illness, probably helps to stave off cancer and boost heart health.

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Topics : Health_Medical_Pharma
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People : Anna L. MarslandCarmia BorekMary Ann Bauman

01/25/2013 4:14PM
How to Not Get Sick
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