Another Anti-Aging Side Effect

HB and I just had a very busy week. Probably too busy, since I found myself coming down with something on Tuesday morning. And there was no chance to take time off to fight back.

So when I woke up congested on Tuesday morning, with a scratchy throat and a cough, I knew I was in trouble.

The one thing I could do was increase my vitamin C and fluid intake, which I did. Otherwise, I had to tough out the week, because I had a weeklong commitment there was no putting off.

Surprisingly, when I woke up on Wednesday I didn’t feel any worse. Or on Thursday. I wasn’t really any better, but whatever was going on in my head seemed to be stalled.

If I could grab a few minutes for a nap, I’d take it. And I kept up with the C and fluids. Friday came and went and I still didn’t have a full-blown cold. Just a little scratch in my throat, a little congestion and an occasional cough.

Now, this hasn’t been my experience over the last few years. Normally, what I’d felt on Tuesday would have turned into 10 – 14 days of misery. But I woke up on Saturday feeing no worse.

In fact, I might have even been doing a little better. Good thing, too. Saturday was my real test. I’d be working about a 12-hour shift helping out with one of HB’s plays.

I was on my feet for most of the afternoon and evening. But I definitely had some of my energy back. And I was coughing very little.

I admit I crashed when I got home about 11:00 pm. But we were back at the theater by 8:00 to pack up the show. By noon, we were all cleaned up, the borrowed furniture and props were back where they belonged, and we were back at home.

I mowed the lawn, took a shower, crashed on the couch for 3 or 4 hours. When I woke up, I felt pretty good.

In all honesty, I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve pushed so hard while coming down with a cold and not gotten really, really sick. So something we’ve been doing has made a real difference.

I’ve seen studies that show exercise can cut your risk of getting sick. But a few other habits may have influenced my “good luck,” too.

In one study I found, doctors split 479 volunteers into 2 groups. They gave one group a multivitamin. The other group took a multivitamin with probiotics. Over two winters, both groups had about the same number of colds. But the probiotic group was sick an average of two days less… and their sickness was milder.

A Japanese study looked at the effect of vitamin C on colds. In this study, volunteers took either 50 mg or 500 mg of vitamin C every day. After 5 years, the 500 mg group had been sick quite a bit less.

It’s like a little bonus “side effect” of building towards a longer life. You don’t just get more years… you get healthier years, too.

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