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How Docs Stay Well All Winter Long
For advice on dodging colds and flu this season, we turned to the men and women who spend their days in the germy trenches. Click to the next slides for their tricks and advice!
Get Out More
"A lot of people slack on outdoor exercise when the temperature drops, but I keep working out throughout the season. However, I don't get up so early to exercise that I'm cutting into sleep—that can be counterproductive, since sleep is important to immune function, too."
—Gary Rogg, M.D., internist, Montefiore Medical Center in New York City
Don't Skimp on Sleep
"Sleep deprivation can significantly weaken immune function, and that can make you more susceptible to infection. Going to bed at a reasonable hour ensures that you'll enter cold and flu season with your immune system in top form."
—Paul Lyons, M.D., senior associate dean for education, University of California at Riverside
Clean Up Your Act
"Of course, I wash my hands before and after seeing every patient—whether it's cold season or not. But during flu season I also regularly wipe down spots in my office where germs can accumulate, like door handles or computer keyboards. And I get the flu shot!"
—Margaret Polaneczky, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics & gynecology, Weill Medical College in New York City
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
"No matter how often you wash your hands, warding off illness when you're a doctor is hard. During cold season, I try not to shake a lot of hands. When I pass people in the hallways of the hospital and they extend their hands, I give them a fist bump instead."
—Raul Seballos, M.D., vice chair, department of preventive medicine, Cleveland Clinic