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7 Simple Techniques To Lesson Your Swine Flu Risk

Topic: Health & Fitness

Steve Greene (Click on authors name for bio)

Posted: Saturday, October 17th 2009

I'm not an alarmist kind of guy. Not at all. But the statistics don't lie:
Seasonal flu annually sickens 5-20% of the population
But there's no need for gloom and doom. Just read this and you'll already start feeling much better 

7 Simple Techniques to Minimize Your Swine Flu Risk

It is that time of the year when the weather changes in most parts of the world and the common cold starts rearing its ugly head. Flu season also begins. This season is causing more anxiety amongst the general population because of the H1N1 swine flu. 

There is almost a panic because the experts feel that this flu virus is more severe than the others.
Let me give you some statistics. 

•    Seasonal flu annually sickens 5-20% of the population. 
•    More than 200,000 people are hospitalized with flu complications
•    About 36,000 people die from influenza related complications each year in the United States alone.
•    75 million work days are lost each year
•    1765 deaths are due to influenza annually

Now I didn’t give these statistics to scare you or alarm you.  I provided these to show you that these statistics are from what we know as general flu, which means that the swine flu is not necessarily more harmful. 

This means all flu may be potentially harmful and life threatening.  That is why you need to take the proper steps to avoid all types of flu this season and not just worry about the swine flu. 

The National Institute for Health and Center for Disease Control also states that 62 million cases of the common cold are reported each year.

So what are we to do?
We have all heard of the common tips that we should be doing and these are pretty powerful.

1.    Consistently wash your hands
2.    Avoid contacting your face with your hands unless you have recently washed them of germs.
3.    If you are in contact with public areas where germs tend to thrive make sure you wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your face prior to washing your hands.

Did you know that your nutritional habits play an important role in combating the common cold and flu?

More and more research is showing that Vitamin D can play an important role in fighting off the flu. 

The problem with this is we have become so scared of the sun and skin cancer that we tend to cover our bodies in sunscreen, which limits the amount of Vitamin D we can absorb from the sun. 

The result is we are actually starting to see a deficiency in Vitamin D, which the experts thought would never happen.   

Which type of Vitamin D should I take?
You can take a good multi-vitamin that has Vitamin D in it, but many multivitamins contain Vitamin D2 instead of D3.  Both are usable forms of Vitamin D, but D3 converts 500% faster and binds with protein more effectively than D2. 

The other solution is to spend 10-15 minutes a day in the sun without sunscreen on.   This is more difficult in climates where the wind is blowing and the temperature is 20 degrees during the winter months.  That is why a good multi-vitamin that contains Vitamin D3 is a good alternative.

Many experts believe this is why flu is worst in the fall and winter because most people spend their time indoors because of the nasty weather. 

Here are 7 simple inexpensive ways to dramatically boost your immune system and reduce the risk of the cold or flu this year.

1.    Vitamin D through sun exposure or a good multi-vitamin that contains Vitamin D3
2.    Avoid sugar and processed foods
3.    Exercise
4.    Daily Omega 3 fats from krill oil to boost your immune system
5.    Get enough rest.  Some believe getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night dramatically increases you chances of contracting the flu
6.    Wash your hands thoroughly throughout the day
7.    Consume anti-oxidants to help fight off free radicals that can weaken your immune system

If you're looking for the way to stay healthy this year then that means following all 7 seven steps above.

Can you think of any reason not to take care of your health this year?

Now there is no one miracle solution and relying on the swine flu vaccination which for many won't be available until sometime in December is not the safest route to go. 

Steven Greene is a fitness and exercise specialist, as well as a nutrition, weight management and lifestyle coach in Los Angeles.


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