Tips To Boost Your Immune System
Cold and flu season is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean you have to start stocking up on tissues and over-the-counter remedies. You can take simple steps to help your body fight off the nasty "bugs" that will be flying around. Jeffrey Band, M.D., director of Infectious Diseases for Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak and medical director of its International Travel Health program, offers the following tips that anyone can adopt to stay healthy:
* Eat a well-balanced diet and maintain a healthy weight. Don't crash diet.
* Drink lots of water.
* Exercise for body conditioning and endurance.
* Keep stress at bay, adopt a positive attitude and seek treatment if you are depressed.
* Get enough sleep.
* Keep any chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure under control. Take your medications.
* Don't abuse your body by smoking or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.
* Wash your hands frequently. Plain soap and water are enough - there is no need for anti-bacterial soap. If you can't wash, tote a waterless hand rinse with ethyl, not isopropyl, alcohol.
* Avoid close contact with anyone who has an active, spreadable disease such as cold or flu.
* Stay current with immunizations, including an annual flu shot. It is possible to carry the flu "bug" and infect others even if you don't have symptoms. Those 65 and older should get the pneumonia vaccine too. Even adults need booster shots for other immunizations: ask your doctor.