(Natural News) Following a healthy lifestyle is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself against disease, according to a study published in the journal Alternative and Complementary Therapies. This report emphasized the need for clinicians having a discussion and providing specific direction about healthy lifestyle choices to prevent respiratory illness with their patients.
For this report, a researcher from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine reviewed how lifestyle behaviors can influence the immune system of an individual.
Unfortunately, conventional training does not teach clinicians about lifestyle behaviors when preparing for cold and flu season. Instead, the discussion typically moves toward hand hygiene and avoiding crowded places and people who are sick. While these are important information, one of the most important doctor-patient discussions for preventing infection is to discuss lifestyle choices, especially when a patient is following a sedentary lifestyle and an unhealthy diet and living a stressful life.
In this report, it was identified that unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol intake, obesity, a weakened immune system, chronic disease, lack of sleep and chronic stress could increase the vulnerability of a person to colds, flu and pneumonia.
The researcher also found that engaging in healthy lifestyle behaviors makes a person less prone to both infections and chronic disease. Lifestyle behaviors that contribute to a healthy immune system include regular exercise, a healthy diet, seven or more hours of sleep, avoidance of smoking, limiting alcohol intake and learning stress management techniques. The report also noted that many clinicians observed that people who practice healthier lifestyle behaviors are sick less often than those who have poor lifestyle behaviors.
Overall, the report suggested that having a discussion and providing specific direction about healthy lifestyle choices between health professionals and patients are important in preventing diseases, such as respiratory illnesses.
Preparing for the flu and cold season naturally
Antibiotics are not the solution to preventing and treating colds and flu, but plenty of rest, fluids and home remedies can help improve symptoms. Colds and the flu often cause uncomfortable symptoms, such as a runny nose, a sore throat, blocked sinus, body aches, coughing, headaches and fever or chills. Listed below are several home remedies that can prevent illness, improve symptoms and shorten the duration of a cold or the flu:
- Zinc supplementation – Supplementing with zinc may help shorten the length of a cold and lessen symptoms. Experts believe that this may be attributed to zinc’s ability to prevent rhinovirus from replicating in the body. Rhinovirus is the virus that causes the common cold. You can find zinc in tablet, lozenge or syrup forms.
- Honey – Drinking warm water with honey can soothe a sore throat or cough. This is because honey has antimicrobial properties, which may help fight bacteria and viruses.
- Garlic – Garlic is a known remedy for colds and the flu. Garlic has antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help fight coughs and colds. You can eat garlic raw or add it to your meals. You may also take a garlic supplement if you do not like its taste. (Related: Protect yourself from flu season with these natural cold remedies.)
- Oregano oil – Taking oregano oil or rubbing it on your chest may help relieve cold symptoms. This is because oregano has thymol and carvacrol — both of which have antibacterial effects.
Read more studies on how adhering to a healthy lifestyle can help protect you from diseases at Prevention.news.