It’s that time of year when sniffling, sneezing, and a sore throat are a potential threat. With the cold weather creeping in and the hats and scarves in use, winter colds start to raise their ugly heads once again. The danger of getting sick is even more of a reality if you have young children, or come into regular contact with them; it can be easy to pick up something nasty. Below are 5 tips for how to prevent a cold this winter so you can enjoy all of the season’s beauty.
5 insights on how to prevent a cold:
Sometimes the most obvious solution is the right one. Antibacterial gel or “anti-bac” is designed to kill bacteria so it makes sense to have it around the house or keep a mini bottle in your purse.
Germs are the root of all colds and are so easily transferable. It’s worth carrying around a little bottle of antibacterial gel for those times when you can’t get to a restroom, but really the best way of getting rid of germs is to wash your hands regularly.
It’s also worth thinking about places there might have lurking germs that you haven’t thought of right away. How often do you wash your winter gloves, for example?
Pick up a second pair so you can put your pair of mittens through the wash every couple of weeks. That’s an easy way to avoid contamination.
2. Boost your immune system
These approaches help prep your body to fight off a cold. Garlic is a particularly beneficial ingredient in shaking off viruses, which means you’ll want to be liberal with using it in homemade dishes.
If you can’t stand the taste of garlic though or are cooking for fussy eaters, you can buy garlic capsules that contain all the nutritional benefits of a clove or two, but without the aftertaste.
3. Exercise (but not too much)
Studies show that exercise can nearly halve the chances of your catching a cold and make the infection less severe if you do so. I’m not necessarily talking high-intensity gym workouts either!
It could be going for a walk, doing yoga poses, or swimming. There are all gentle exercises you can likely do to achieve the same benefits of warding off a winter cold.
However, if you do come down with a cold, rest up instead of doing a workout. The reason is that when you’re ill, the symptoms worsen and could cause you to take longer to recover than if you relax instead.
4. Rest up
If you do succumb to a cold, make sure you rest and look after yourself. Medication will usually only alleviate the symptoms, so unfortunately seeing off a cold is really a waiting game. Get plenty of sleep and stay hydrated for the infection to pass, which it will likely do.
If the symptoms don’t go on their own, you may need to seek medical advice from an urgent care clinic. That’s particularly true if you have another health condition, such as asthma or bronchitis.
5. Final tip for how to prevent a cold: Sleep well
It’s the time of year when most of us want to snuggle inside anyway, so you probably don’t need telling twice, but trying to make sure you get enough sleep this winter season. Doing so will maintain a healthy immune system and hopefully ward off a cold for a little longer.
It can be a challenge to fall asleep when you’re too cold, so make sure to dress warmly for bed. Add a wool layer like a poncho or a shawl, so even if your partner steals all the blanket, you’re still warm and snuggly.
If you do end up feeling run down, take to bed to help sleep it off. When you’re asleep, the body has time to heal; specifically, your immune system fights the infection during your slumber.
To make sure you get enough Z’s, schedule sleep just as you would for anything else that’s important in your schedule. Sometimes you just have to cut short those other tasks to put your sleep needs first too; your body will thank you when it’s well-rested come morning.
What are some other tips for how to prevent a cold this winter?