Along with snow and ice the winter season also brings colds. Unlike many people think, these colds are not caused by exposure to the cold and damp weather. Colds are caused by viruses that invade our bodies. And up until this time, medical science has not found a cure for the common cold. We pick up the viruses through contact with an infected person. This can be through touch such as a kiss, through sharing tools such as pens, and by inhaling air where an infected person has coughed or sneezed. A virus can live outside the body in the air or on utensils for three to five hours.

However, just because we are hosting the virus does not necessarily mean we will succumb to a cold. That depends on our immune system. As soon it recognizes the invading viruses it goes into action to overcome them. In fact, all the symptoms of a cold that make us so miserable are actually the immune system's weapons in action against the invader. For instance, the system tries to entrap the virus by producing mucus and then to expel it from the body through coughing and sneezing. But if our system is strong enough, it can repel the virus without our being aware of its existence within our body.

So the key to surviving the winter cold season is a strong immune system. But what strategies can we employ to strengthen it? First, you should be sure to get plenty of sleep. While you are sleeping, your body is hard at work producing the white blood cells that fight off infections. So the more hours of sleep you can manage, the larger the arsenal of white cells that can be stored. And studies have demonstrated that sleep deprivation can increase your risk of succumbing to a cold or the flu. Secondly, you need to stay well hydrated by drinking adequate amounts of water. If you are feeling thirsty, you are already suffering from mild dehydration. Water is necessary to rid your system of body waste.

You also need a healthy diet to provide your body with all the necessary nutrients. For instance, zinc is an important nutrient required by the immune system but it is also one that people are often deficient in. Another important mineral is magnesium. Vitamins C, D, and E are also vital to immune system function. If your diet isn't providing adequate amounts of these vitamins and minerals you may want to consider a supplement such as a multi.

Exercise also plays an important role in building a healthy immune system. Doctors usually recommend thirty minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise. Walking is excellent for people who don't care for gyms or other athletic activities. And the good news is that you don't need to do it all at once. You can break it up into three ten minute workouts each day. And finally you need to avoid stress. Scientists have discovered that stress will stimulate the various chemicals that suppress immune function. And those activities that reduce stress such as exercise, meditation, and just ordinary relaxing will also strengthen the immune system. - A Survival Guide Click Here!