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Briefs: Keep those cold germs at bay

keep those cold germs at bay

Podmates sneezing all around you? Check out some cold and flu prevention tips from Sutter Health (checksutterfirst.com):

Wash hands frequently or, better yet, use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.

Exercise at least four days a week. Regular moderate exercise boosts your immune system and helps to prevent infections.

Get plenty of sleep. The average adult needs seven to eight hours per night.

Lighten up and laugh. Laughter seems to enhance immunity while stress dampens it.

Gargle. The simple act of gargling with plain water at least three times a day not only reduced the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections by 36 percent but also reduced symptoms in people who did get a cold.

We're doing it! We're doing it!

The old advertising mantra, "Just Do It" has morphed into "Just Doing It" for more Americans, according to a recent survey about eating right and exercising. When asked about maintaining a healthful diet and engaging in regular exercise, 43 percent said they were. In 2002, that number was 38 percent. People in the "I know I should" category — who understand a healthy lifestyle is critical but haven't done much to achieve it — numbered 38 percent, up from 30 percent in 2002. And just 19 percent of men and women put themselves in the "don't bother me" category — not believing that diet and exercise are important. That's down from 32 percent in 2002. The survey, by the American Dietetic Association, gathered data from 783 men and women.

Hygiene prevents E. coli issues

A scan of the headlines the other day turned up at least three outbreaks of E. coli contamination in the food supply, from Ontario, to Tennessee to Southern California. You can protect yourself at home from the bacterium with some proper food handling techniques:

• Wash hands.

• Keep raw meats separate from other foods.

• Clean and disinfect cutting boards and kitchen surfaces after handling raw meat.

• When barbecuing, use a different plate for cooked food than the one that held the raw food.

• Meat should be cooked all the way through until the juices run clear. Hamburgers should reach a temperature of 160 degrees and should be brown inside, not pink.

Compiled from Times staff, wires

Briefs: Keep those cold germs at bay 12/01/08 [Last modified: Monday, December 1, 2008 12:55pm]

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