With the winter season just around the corner, the common cold will make an appearance in more than one family over the next few months. While not fatal, a cold can make you feel lousy, and prevent you from working or having a good time. You may even pass it on to other members of the family or your colleagues.
Tips to Prevent Common Cold
Did you know that although the common cold is exactly that – common – medical researchers and doctors still do not know what exactly causes it and they do not even know exactly what to do to cure it? However, naturalists, herbalists, alternative medicine practitioners and our loving grandmothers have long known of more effective ways to deal with colds but more importantly how to prevent them in the first place. Let’s take a look at some of these tips so that you don’t miss out on a single moment of play or work this winter.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C gives your immune system a huge boost. It refines the inner workings of your body. When all systems are in optimal condition, you have a much better chance of fighting off the viruses in the air. So stock up on foods that are high in Vitamin C or take supplements to keep the common cold at bay.
Wash Your Hands
The number of illnesses that can be prevented simply by washing your hands is staggering. Every single day, millions of people touch millions of surfaces across the world ranging from door knobs to table tops, pens and computer mice to chairs and railings. During the course of your day, you come in touch with these surfaces and any virus that has survived exposure on that surface gets on your skin and into your system soon enough. By washing your hands with an anti-bacterial soap a few times a day, you up your standards of hygiene and greatly prevent not just the common cold but also a variety of other illnesses.
Washing your hands before and after eating and post using the toilet are most important. If you cook for yourself or your family, then wash your hands thoroughly before handling the food. If you’re getting someone to help you, even if it’s just to chop something, get them to wash their hands first. This way, you prevent any germs that are on you from getting on your family through food.
If you are out a lot and do not have access to a wash basin, try to keep your hands away from your face till you have had a chance to wash your hands. The nose, eyes and mouth are the most vulnerable when it comes to transmitting viruses so the less you touch your face, the better.
Keep your Home and Work Space Clean
Your work space is more filthy (in terms of bacteria and viruses) than a toilet seat. Keep it clean by wiping it down with a surface cleaner on a regular basis. The same goes for your home. Viruses can survive for hours and sometimes days if left alone. A vulnerable immune system can easily fall sick from nothing but an unclean house.
Use your Own Utensils
It’s easy to pick up a virus from a used plate or coffee cup at work. Bring your own utensils from home and take them back with you every day to avoid having to use those provided in your office pantry.
Keep your Distance from those with Colds
This is a pretty obvious tip. If someone at home or at work has the common cold, do your best to keep away from them. This may not be so easy if you are a caretaker at home. Do your best anyway. Throw away any tissues that the sick person is using and also wash utensils, bed sheets, towels and handkerchiefs used by them. It’s a good idea to make separate towels the norm in your home. At work, ensure that you always use a new paper towel to wipe your hands clean after washing and dispose of it properly after. Avoid using used tissues and paper towels, even if they are your own.
Manage that Stress
A stressed body leads to an overworked immune system. There is plenty of research to support the fact that stressed out folks are more susceptible to the common cold but also to other major diseases.
Try Keeping Healthy Overall
If there’s a cold virus that’s going around, you’ll be less likely to catch it if you are healthy. This is because your immune system is better equipped to fight the virus before it makes its home in your body. So try to eat clean, sleep well and exercise regularly to prevent the common cold from knocking at your door.
When you smoke, your nasal and throat passages get very irritated. An irritated body part is always more vulnerable to infections. Even second-hand smoke makes a difference so get a nicotine patch, ditch your cigarettes and avoid the smoking crowd on your breaks.
Eat More Garlic
You may not like the smell of garlic, but it has a wonderfully protective property against the common cold. Ancient Chinese medicine and modern holistic therapies alike applaud garlic when it comes to both preventing and fighting off the common cold.
Spend More Time Outside
This tip for preventing the common cold applies to those who spend several hours a day in a closed environment like an air-conditioned office or home. Since there is no proper ventilation, the germs in the air and from other people just stay indoors, circulating over and over, making their way into your system. So go outdoors and get some fresh air into your system.
Drink at least 2 litres of water a day, more if you exercise. The basic idea is to increase your fluid intake so that your body has a medium to flush out any toxins that may have gotten in. Tea, coffee, coconut water, fresh juices without sugar, and soups would also count toward upping your fluid intake. However, take care to not let all your hydration needs come from these alternatives. There’s nothing like plain water and that should be your major source of fluids.