Hot Ways To Avoid A Cold


red-wine1Everyone and their mother has a cold right now, and I can practically feel the germal invasion.  Thanks co-worker sneezing over the cubicle wall. Thanks dude who coughed phlegmishly onto the salad bar.

Pop as many Airborne tablets as you like—there’s still no cure for the common cold. But new research has found some seriously wonky ways to fend ’em off. Screw an apple a day. Peep these suggestions:

  • Get sloshed. A group of scientists at the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain surveyed more than 4000 faculty and staff members about their health, weekly alcohol consumption, stress levels, vitamin intake, and proximity to children. None of the later three factors had any effect on how often they got colds, but the study showed that folks who drank two glasses of  wine a day—be it red, white, or rose—caught 40% fewer colds than the others. And those who guzzled just red—in the range of 8 to 14 glasses a week—came down with an astounding 60% fewer colds. So, where’s the sangria?
  • Cheer the eff up! Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University took emotional assessments of 334 healthy volunteers and then squirted rhinovirus, the germ that causes colds, in each person’s nose. People who tested as happy, calm, and content were far better at warding off the virus than those who are anxious, depressed, or hostile. The latter group, however, was amazing at warding off other people.
  • Get a life. People with wide social circles, full of lots of different types of relationships, catch 50% fewer colds than people with just a few contacts stored in their cell phone, according to another Carnegie Mellon study. Hm. You mean sitting in my darkened living room eating SoyJoy with my ringer off is why I have post nasal drip?
  • Hit the sauna. In a study conducted by researchers at Austria’s University of Vienna, 25 folks volunteered to head to the sauna regularly for six months while a second group of 25 swore off spa visits for the same amount of time. In the last three months of the experiment, the sauna indulgers caught half as many colds as the control group. Why? The scientists aren’t completely sure, but they think that inhaling the hot air kills off the virus. Nekkidness, apparently, had nothing to do with it.
  • Catch more ‘zzzzz’s. Turns out, people who get 7 hours of sleep a night pick up three times as many colds as those who get 8+ hours, according to yet another Carnegie Mellon Study. (Are these people obsessed?) Even worse, if you toss and turn, lay awake counting sheep, or get up multiple times to pee in the middle of the night, you may be 5.5 times more likely to get a cold. So start sleeping better, m’kay? And no, this is not an ad for Ambien.



rhinovirus = the germ that causes colds

By the Numbers:

30 million= the number of sick days taken by workers with colds each year

8 to 14= the number of glasses of red wine you should drink a week to ward of colds


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