There are few things that can ruin your summer like a cold. Sure, you get the flu in the wintertime. you're supposed to. But summertime is the perfect time to get sick, according to new research. What's worse, summer colds last longer than winter colds. According to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, it's because of something called an enterovirus. This virus is present in the summertime to help rhino-, corona-, and parainfluenza viruses wreak havoc on your body. Here's how to protect yourself:

Avoid Contact With Sick People

Your first line of defense is to avoid sick people. This seems like common sense, and it is. However, most people who pay attention to this advice only do so in the winter. You have to be equally cautious in the summer.

Bring Disinfecting Wipes With You

The second-best defense is to bring disinfecting wipes with you when you're traveling or in public places. You can't trust that everyone is as hygienic as you are. If your immune system is compromised, the wipes will help to shield you from germs that you might otherwise have a tough time fighting off on your own.

Ease Into Exercise

It's tempting to get right out there and be active as soon as the summer hits. However, enterovirus is associated with strenuous exercise. If you're out of shape, don't overdo it. Ease into any workout program you're thinking of starting. Even if you're not thinking of working out, take it easy with recreational activities.

Bolster your immune system with a good diet and immune-supporting vitamins and minerals like zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C. Magnesium, in particular, is involved in 300 different biochemical reactions in the body. It helps to maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps your heart rhythm steady, and supports a healthy immune system. Most male adults need about 400 to 420 mg per day while female adults need roughly 300 to 360 mg per day. Pregnant women may need slightly more.

Magnesium is found in dark green vegetables. Your other alternative is to take a magnesium supplement. If you're using a supplement, start slow and increase the dose over time as some forms of magnesium can have a laxative effect. If you don't tolerate one form of magnesium very well, try another.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, vitamin C supplementation can reduce the duration of colds by about 8 percent in adults and 14 percent in children. You need between 1 and 4 grams per day, divided into several doses. Thankfully, vitamin C is easy to buy at most health food stores as ascorbic acid.

Eat a Good Diet

A good diet is often defined subjectively, but there are some principles that you can follow to ensure that you're eating a well-balanced diet. It's not so much about eating more fruits and veggies as it is about controlling inflammation in your body. To accomplish this, keep your ratio of omega 6 fatty acids to omega 3 fatty acids as close to 1:1 or 2:1 as possible. If your ratio of o6 to o3 looks more like 10:1 or 20:1, it's time to rethink your diet.

A variety of fruits and vegetables will provide you with important nutrients. Tuberous vegetables are an important source of minerals. Meat, along with organ meats like liver, is an important source of B vitamins and other essential minerals. Make sure you eat a decent amount of fat too. Yes fat - it's required for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is important. Drink plenty of water. How much? That depends on you. You shouldn't wait until you're thirsty to drink something. Rather, you should always keep a bottle or glass of water nearby. Periodically have a drink to keep your mouth moist and your saliva going.

Get Plenty of Sleep

While something like Benylin might help to ease your cough, the best thing you can do is get some rest. The more rest you get, the better. When you sleep, your body will divert most of its extra resources to fighting off an infection and getting you back to normal. If you normally sleep 8 hours a night, try to get 10 or even 12 hours of sleep if you're suffering from a summer cold. You'll be back on your feet before you know it.

Author's Bio: 

John Wycliffe has had her share of summer colds. She is also an avid blogger who likes to write on health and medical issues.