Hello, Winter! Christmas is put away and for the next couple of months our lives, conversations and activities will revolve around weather and sick days.
FACT: Other than relocating, we can do nothing about the weather! My husband remembers his mission president regularly imploring, “Elders! Sisters! Declare your independence from the weather!” While it may seem impossible in the dead of winter, there’s lots we can do to declare our independence from getting sick!
I focused on flu prevention a couple of weeks ago. Today’s article is about beating colds. (See my Meridian Article from December: “Beat The Flu: 20 prevention Tips.”
Fact: Germs and viruses exist regardless of the temperature, but they thrive and spread more easily in low temperatures. “The viruses that cause colds may spread more easily in low temperatures and exposure to cold and dry air may adversely impact the body’s immune system,” says Jamie Eske at Medical News Today. “Rhinoviruses are the most common cause and are responsible for more than half of all colds and cold-like illnesses. They are typically spread through person-to-person contact and through the air as small droplets which people then inhale.”
Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer, chief of Infectious Disease at New York Hospital Queens, agrees. “It isn’t actually the cold weather that causes the common cold, it’s what we do when it gets cold outside. We all run indoors, where air is recycled and we’re often in close quarters with other people and viruses. We all sneeze on top of each other.”
This is why the cold season is the same — though maybe not as severe — in warmer climates like Los Angeles as it is in colder ones like New York or Chicago.
“Dry and cold conditions are probably more high-risk situations for viruses because of dry mucosa,” adds Segal-Maurer. The mucosa, she says, is what lines your trachea, the back of your throat and your sinuses. Viruses invade the mucosa and start growing, causing your cold.”
Approximately 95 percent of all infections start in these moist surfaces that also include the eyes, nostrils and mouth.
Dr. Michael Greger, author of “How Not To Die” explains how it works:
“These surfaces are protected by antibodies called IgA (short for immunoglobulin type A), which provide an immunological barrier by neutralizing and preventing viruses from penetrating into the body. And here’s the shocker: Of all the things we may want to purchase to protect ourselves,
moderate exercise may be all it takes to boost IgA levels and significantly reduce the chance of coming down with flu-like symptoms!!!!
Wow! Exercise alone?!?! Read on:
“Compared to a sedentary control group, those who performed aerobic exercises for 30 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks had a 50 percent increase in the levels of IgA in their saliva and reported significantly fewer respiratory infection symptoms!
“It doesn’t take much of a workout to get results. If you let kids run around for just six minutes, the levels of immune cells circulating in their blood increases by nearly 50 percent. At the other end of the life cycle, regular exercise for adults can also help prevent age-related immune decline.
One study found that while elderly, sedentary women have a 50 percent chance of getting an upper-respiratory illness during the fall season, those who began a half-hour-a-day-walking program dropped their risk down to 20 percent! Among conditioned runners, though, the risk was just 8 percent. Exercising appeared to make their immune systems more than five times better at fighting infection!” (Dr. Michael Greger, “How Not To Die,” Flatiron Books, Pages 87-88.)
What good news that is! And how readily it explains the increase in colds as so many of us “hunker down” in the cold days of winter and let regular exercise lapse.
What great motivation it is to make sure that we get up and exercise in some form or fashion “at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes.” Easy!
We don’t even need to leave the house to do so! Exercise videos abound, as do workouts on Youtube. Our daughter-in-law has been committed to Leslie Sansone’s walking videos for years! My recent article on “Oxycise” is another excellent choice. (See my link at the bottom) We’ve found that a commitment to get outside and walk for at least 20 minutes regardless of the weather makes for a much better day emotionally as well as physically!
What else can we do to boost immunity?
1. Washing our hands frequently and using an antibacterial hand spray: This is always our number one defense, followed by keeping our hands away from our mouths, noses, eyes and ears where germs enter.
2. Stop drinking milk: The promise of fewer colds is what gave us the motivation to test it out for several months back in 2012. We went cold turkey and were astonished at how it improved our health! Especially since we were getting colds about once a month. We now drink almond milk exclusively. (I’ve included a link at the bottom where you can learn more about it and the whole-food plant-based eating plan that will quickly improve ever aspect of your health.)
3. Chlorella and mushrooms: Dr. Greger encourages both in his book. Chlorella is a green algae “supergreen” that is easily available as powdered granules or tablets. One test study showed that eating a cup of cooked white mushrooms each day boosted the IgA level by 50 percent, and it didn’t drop for a full week! Mushrooms are known for their B Vitamins, but their beneficial micronutrients are very impressive!
4. A regular detox: Our Meridian friends and customers report that drinking our detox drink regularly greatly reduces colds and flu. It is also a terrific way of attacking a bug head on when it appears.
5: Get enough rest! That’s a no-brainer that is easily overlooked.
You may be wondering about Vitamin C. Believe it or not, science says it does NOT have a significant place in preventing colds. Drinking orange juice while enduring a cold may be helpful, but more as a fluid than the actual Vitamin C content since Vitamin C doesn’t seem to help after the cold is contracted. Plenty of water and other clear fluids will work as well. The people benefitting most from the orange juice concept is the orange juice manufacturers.
CLICK HERE to read that article.
So there we have it! Yes, we CAN declare our independence from winter weather and sickness! 30 minutes of exercise three times a week? We’re on it … and the other things are easy too!
Best Word of Wisdom Food Plan For Much Better Health:
Easy Indoor Exercise For Weight Management, Toning and Exercise:
(Read my article about it HERE “Come Ye Healthy People Come.”
Detox Drink: Order now at www.MyMiracleDetox.com
Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds To Weight Loss Success. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, D.C. community since 1999. She and her husband Bob are happy parents and grandparents, now living as empty-nesters in Jackson, Tennesssee where they center their online business for their amazing herbal detox. They love serving the Lord and attending in a tiny Tennessee branch of the Church where Carolyn is the Gospel Doctrine teacher.