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How often do you get sick?

By October 1, 2008 - 8:05am
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I never seem to catch the flu, but I always get at least one really nasty cold when the seasons change. My husband doesn’t really catch colds, but it seems like every winter, he’ll have at least a short bout with the flu. It’s never made much sense to us, and we chalked it up to genetic differences since we share the same environment.

Are you a person who can count on catching at least one horrible cold or flu bug each winter? Do you envy your cubicle mate, who never seems to get sick when all around her are sniffling?

Chances are, it’s not an accident. CNN.com/health today offers a story on how some women never get sick:


Some of the secrets may surprise you. In addition to things we’re all familiar with, such as washing your hands often and relieving stress, the article also mentions the following:

1. Massage, which reduces your stress and helps to build your immune system;
2. A cold rinse after a shower, which can boost your energy;
3. Fresh ginger, most often in tea, used to help digestive health;
4. Vitamins, especially vitamin C and zinc when you feel a cold coming on;
5. Garlic, especially raw, which is full of antioxidants; and
6. Keeping the messages in your brain positive; focus on wellness, not illness.

How about you? Do you have secrets to staying well?

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I tend to get 3-4 bad colds a year and 1-2 stomach bugs a year. Not sure where the line is between a bad cold and the flu, but I assume I do not get the flu except every couple years. As a side note, since starting working out hard and taking a whey supplement, all my illnesses have been very minor, coming and going very quickly.

December 26, 2008 - 2:05pm

The past two years, I have been sick every-other month, but then again...I have a two-year old son. He is getting sick less and less the older he gets, and I am actually able to count on being sick-free for 2-3 months in a row. Coincidence?! :-)

The times when I do not have a baby/toddler wiping their nose on me, I can stay relatively illness-free with:

- plenty of rest (7 hours a night or I'm almost guaranteed an illness!!)
- hand washing throughout the day
- flu shot! (they really do work to prevent certain strains of flu, even if to make the symptoms less severe)
- daily vitamin
- drinking lots of water
- getting a little physical activity in my day (15 minute walk, at least)
- I am a big believer in the positive mental attitude, and do notice a huge difference in my energy level and overall feeling of being sick/well, depending n if I'm self-doubting vs. confident and happy

October 2, 2008 - 12:52pm

hot lemon water

ginger tea made with freshly grated ginger

green tea - use real leaves when possible

mint tea - use fresh mint

1/2 grapefruit or an orange every day, or as frequently as possible

an apple a day

fresh fruit smoothies (no yogurt)

I personally have to limit dairy products, as I'm lactose intolerant.

cooking with olive oil and broth

garlic and a little pepper, no added salt

homemade chicken soup (dark meat)

As a lupus patient, a bout of flu or common cold can be super serious. I have not had either in years. I do get a sinus infection at least once/year with a seasonal change, and I'm constantly fighting allergies (pet dander, dust, etc.). It's amazing that my system has been able to fend off virus infections.

goodness...hope I haven't jinxed myself!

October 1, 2008 - 4:40pm

I'm like you Anne in that I rarely catch the flu, but will have at least one cold each year, maybe even two. Compounded with allergies, this is not so fun. And, my husband, who has rarely been sick, has had four colds and two sinus infections in the past year.

We have both tried the so-called immune-boosting foods like pumpkin, beef and tea, which seems to help somewhat. Instead of getting full-out illnesses which require a day or two of bedrest, we seem to get the lower-grade versions where we can still function, but don't quite feel like ourselves.

Apparently, I need to work in a few more massages each year. Even if I wasn't sick, I might slip one in. Thanks for the tips.

October 1, 2008 - 11:34am
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