How to Stay Healthy in Cold and Flu Season


If you want to ward off colds—and worse—this fall and winter, new research offers some help.

Colds are bad enough. But about 5% of them morph into something more serious—sinus infections, bronchitis or pneumonia—and people 65 and older are particularly susceptible to that threat, says William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. Flu, meanwhile, puts thousands of people in the hospital each year.

Your best defense starts with diligent hand-washing and a flu shot. But studies suggest that there are additional steps you can take to stay free of respiratory illnesses, or at least make a speedier recovery. Here are some of those steps.

Practicing so-called mindfulness meditation—a combination of gentle yoga and meditation—for eight weeks reduced the incidence, intensity and duration of cold and flu symptoms by 40% to 50% among a group of people over age 50, compared with people in a control group who didn’t meditate, researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wis., found.

Source: wsj


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