Got a cold or trying to avoid one? | Health Beat

The verdict is still out when it comes to vitamin C and its effects on the common cold. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

It’s cold and flu season.

That means there are plenty of people out there right now wishing they had a medicine that could shorten the length of their illness—or better yet, they’d like something to prevent it altogether.

Is that too tall an order? Yes.

Despite all the medical breakthroughs of modern society—3D printable heart models, wearable health sensors and ultra-tiny pacemakers—the world of medicine has yet to find a cure for the common cold.

And the fact is, studies offer mixed results when it comes to understanding the true power of zinc and vitamin C in fighting cold and flu viruses. Over-the-counter medicines that claim to combat cold and flu viruses often contain either of these ingredients.

But can the oft-hyped zinc or vitamin C provide a

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Tips to stay active all winter | Health Beat

Few places are more beautiful than a snow-spangled running trail. Just make sure it has been cleared for safe running. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

It’s a cold and gray winter day.

The last thing you want to do is exercise. You’d rather just stay inside and hibernate.

But getting up and moving could be exactly what you need to help fight the winter blahs.

“Staying active in the winter is very important, especially when you live in a place like West Michigan that doesn’t get a lot of sun,” said Matthew Axtman, DO, a Spectrum Health orthopedic sports medicine specialist.

“We know from research that individuals who are active and exercise tend to do a lot better during the winter months and are much healthier and happier.”

Increased activity can improve your mood and inspire more restful sleep, as well as boosting your immune system to fight off illness,

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COVID-19: What’s next? What can we do? | Health Beat

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