Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy and Healthy

Need an “excuse” to head to the spa? What if I told you it would help prevent a cold? Here are some natural tips to prevent colds from given by Charles B. Inlander, president of The People's Medical Society:

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.

Get fresh air
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.

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 makes you sweat once your body heats up. This helps increase the body's natural virus-killing cells.
(check out water aerobics at the Hot Springs every day at 2 p.m.)

There's evidence that when you put your relaxation skills into action, your interleukins -- leaders in the immune system response against cold and flu viruses -- increase in the bloodstream. Train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming and do this 30 minutes a day for several months. Keep in mind, relaxation is a learnable skill, but it is not doing nothing. People who try to relax, but are in fact bored, show no changes in blood chemicals.

Having recently gotten over a 2 week cold, I wish I would’ve come across this sooner and I definitely would have tried some of them out here at the Hot Springs (especially the Sauna!).

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