How To Stay Cold and Flu Free This Year.

12 Dec

The Most Important Principles For Staying Young: 

How To Stay Cold and Flu Free This Year –  For A Younger YOU®

 Dr. Michael F. Roizen

Co-Author of 4 #1 NY Times Bestsellers including: YOU Staying Young.

The Owner’s Manual For Extending Your Warranty (Free Press)

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing.  You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do.  In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you, and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the  quality and length of your life.

We YOU Docs love fall: crisp days, chilly nights (chilly enough for chili), the beginning of basketball, the end of re-runs (all new Dr. Oz shows!), and tackling all those projects we never touched last summer. There’s just one spoiler (well two): colds and flu. 

 In addition to washing your hands 20 times a day (a great start), these two tips can make a mega-difference: 

 Get enough of our favorite vitamin, D3 (the most active form of vitamin D). Healthy levels make you half as likely to get a cold or flu. If a flu bug gets you anyway (viruses are wily buggers), you won’t feel crummy for nearly as long. Why isn’t yet clear, but D’s anti-inflammation powers may reduce the infection. Take 1,000 IU a day.

 Get your 8 hours a night. Sleep may be the most underestimated cold fighter out there. You’ll catch far fewer colds if you habitually log eight hours of ZZZs a night. Getting less than seven hours makes you three times more likely catch a cold than getting eight. If you sleep poorly, repeatedly waking and falling off, you’re five times more likely to catch a cold. 

 And if you don’t like Vitamin D3 and sleep, then let us warn you of The Dangers of Driving While Under the Influence of a Bad Cold.  

 If your nose looks like a radish and your eyes are more watery than chicken soup at a bad diner, the only equipment you should be operating is a thermometer (but maybe not a mercury one). The common cold, it turns out, is an automobile accident waiting to happen. The sneezing, tearing, fever, and puffy eyes make your reactions behind the wheel as slow and unsteady as a party-goer who’s pounded back several drinks… at least, that’s what a UK team reports.

One reason: A single sneeze lasts two to three seconds and your eyes automatically close during it. If you’re driving 70 miles an hour  (about 110 kilometers an hour) and go ah-ah-ah-choo, you’re driving blind for 315 feet (about 100 meters). You don’t need us YOU Docs to tell you that’s scary. 

North Americans get 1 billion colds each year so you can bet many sneezing, blowing, dripping drivers will be bobbing and weaving down highways. Don’t be one. 

What if you have a ferocious cold and absolutely have to go someplace? Do not take the nearest cold medicine without first checking the warning label. Many contain decongestants that can make you nod off or respond slower. Instead, pick up the phone and ask a friend or a taxi service for a lift.

Once you’re back on your feet, stave off your next “battle of the sinuses” with this trio of cold-fighters: Get eight hours of sleep nightly, take 1,000 IU of virus-fighting vitamin D3 daily, and wash your hands like a maniac.

Thanks for reading and feel free to send more questions at

Young Dr Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice. 

This article is of the opinion of its author.

Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

You can follow Dr Roizen  (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories  of the week) on twitter @YoungDrMike. 

 Feel free to continue to send questions to You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week).  The YOU docs have a new web site:  and its companion the only site we know of where you can find skin products proven to meet the claims (opened for business on June 1st, 2012), and a new book: YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens.

 Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on  Saturdays from 5-7 p.m . E-mail him questions at   He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including : YOU Staying Young and YOU: The Owner’s Manual. He is Chief Medical Consultant to the two year running Emmy award winning Dr Oz show– The Dr Oz show is #2 nationally in daytime TV.  See what all the fun is about, and what he, The Enforcer, is up to. Check local listings or log onto for channel and time. And for more health info, log onto anytime. 

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