When it comes to summer colds, there's good news and there's bad news.
The good news is that summer sniffles are less likely than the "common" cold that seems pretty much destined to lay you out each winter. In fact, summer colds are only about 25 percent as common as winter ones, says Keri Peterson, M.D.
Problem is, if you do get one, it's probably going to be bad. (And not just because it's a waste of perfectly good beach time.) In the summer, the enterovirus is more prominent (versus the rhinovirus in winter), and its symptoms, which tend to be worse and include body aches and upset stomach, typically last even longer than those of winter colds, says Peterson.
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So how can you avoid catching one of these summer-ruining colds? Good hand-washing habits are crucial, but Peterson also says to be careful where you're sticking your hands. For instance, think about your behavior at a summer barbeque: You shake hands, plunge them into bowls of communal chips, then lick your fingers "clean." Yuck. Not to mention all the germs you can pick up on picnic tables, planes, hotel rooms, and crowded sporting events, says Peterson. It's not that you should avoid those places, hey, they all make summer great--but know that they are germy and act accordingly by washing your hands and using disinfectant wipes when necessary.
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And if you're frequently getting sick in the summer, pay attention to other habits that may be wrecking your immune system--like less sleep, more stress (trying to book a vacation under budget? Yikes), and too many umbrella-toting cocktails. We know you want to celebrate summer, but cutting back on the day drinking and boosting your shuteye is crucial to avoid getting sick.
Since it's pretty much guaranteed that you'll come into contact with cold-causing germs at some point this summer, make sure to up your body's defenses. So eat these flu-preventing foods, get plenty of rest, and avoid these 10 weird things that destroy your immunity.