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
Having a fit and healthy body is your first line of defense against a cold attack. So drink plenty of water and make yourself some recipes to 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?
14 thoughts on “How to prevent a cold this winter”
I didn’t know about garlic, Christy. Thanks for the tip! One thing that helps me if I feel a cold coming on is to drink orange juice. The vitamin C helps boost immunity, and the acidity in the juice helps to loosen any congestion in the throat.
Yes, OJ has vitamin C that helps ~ Thanks for adding that here, Amy!
The cold has just made its way to me. Making note of your great advice so I can be ready to prevent the next one.
I hope you’re starting the New Year out healthy and happy!
Great tips. Frequent hand washing helps as it is usually a virus which causes common cold.
Drinking warm water.. Gargling right at the beginning of itchy throat. Ginger tea. They help me
Excellent additions you’ve made here, Shalini!
The cold has attacked us all winter there are countless recipes to fight it. From the time of the grandmothers, the recipes came and went with the years .. There is always one on hand when you meet a friend. These recommendations are actually more realistic. You make a great contribution by spreading it on your blog. Fracias
You’re very kind, Fracias. Cheers to good health, year-round!
Thanks for your wishes. Receive my affection.
Thank you, my friend
I like the tip about having a spare pair of gloves so you can wash your winter gloves regularly. Those are the sorts of things that often get overlooked and yet, once pointed out, are so simple to do.
Thanks Clare. It’s a simple tip but really can cut down the chances of germs being on our hands.
Well written. And the sixth thing would be to get a FLU shot
If it gets beyond a cold then the flu shot is a consideration, for sure :)