Ways yoga can help you ward off colds

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Yoga can boost immune system, inspire healthy habits to ward off colds, viruses. (WPVI)

Holiday cheer isn't the only thing we share at this time of year.

Colds, flu, and other respiratory viruses are on the upswing.

Rising stress hormones weaken the immune system, opening the door to infections.

However, yoga can help counter that.

"Practicing yoga helps us to build the immune system, with our breath, with that awareness, by calming that stress response and that alone helps us to stay so much healthier," says Judi Bar, a yoga instructor with the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Center.

Yoga also boosts the circulation of lymphatic fluid - the body's natural system of clearing out toxins and waste.

It slows down when we're more sedentary - like at the holidays.

In addition to the physical benefits, the mindfulness of yoga often leads us to healthier habits.

Washing your hands regularly is still the most effective way to prevent infections.

But in these days when germs are all around us, adding yoga to the toolbox may not hurt.
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