There’s no foolproof way to prevent yourself from getting the cold and flu, whether it’s in the summer or winter. People tend to think of winter as the time of year when you can catch a cold. In fact, it’s possible to catch a cold at any time of the year.
Colds and flu aren’t caused by the weather but by viruses. They’re more common in the winter because the virus is able to spread easily in cold, dry air. What’s more, people also tend to stay indoors more during the winter, which increases the likelihood of being exposed to other people and their germs.
The symptoms of a cold are the same, however, no matter what time of the year it is. They include a runny nose, headache, congestion, sore throat, cough, watery eyes, itchy eyes, nose and throat.
If you want to reduce your chance of getting either a cold or the flu, here are some things you can do.
Take Care of Your Immune System
If your immune system is healthy and in tip-top condition, it’s going to be better prepared to fight off any viruses you might come into contact with. Your immune system works tirelessly to block viruses and destroy bacteria that might be trying to invade your cells.
You can’t control your immune response, but you can lend it a helping hand. Follow good personal hygiene habits such as washing your hands with soap and water before preparing food and after using the bathroom.
It’s also possible to give your immune system a boost by taking supplements. Health products, such as those sold by Swanson, are a great option if you want to stay healthy.
Washing your hands is one of the most effective steps you can take to avoid getting sick with any common illness. Wash them thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Then make sure you dry them using a clean cloth.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Quality sleep in sufficient quantities is vital if you want to stay fit and healthy. It’s also essential for resetting the immune system every day so that it functions properly. An increasing number of people suffer from a lack of sleep, but some things can be done to reduce the chances of this happening:
- Limit your caffeine intake to the mornings only.
- Wake at the same time every day, even on the weekends.
- Reading a book rather than catching up on your social media news feed also helps you get a better night’s sleep.
Heavy smokers are more susceptible to getting severe and frequent colds. Even being around smoke can damage the immune system, which is your body’s only defence against germs. Smoke dries out the passages in your nose and affects the delicate hairs that line your nose and lungs. It is these cilia that sweep away cold and flu viruses.
Eat Foods Containing Phytochemicals
Certain plants contain natural chemicals (phytochemicals) in them that give you a supercharged boost. Foods that are beneficial include dark green, red and yellow vegetables and fruit.
Colds and flu can be very debilitating, so it’s a good idea to do everything you can to reduce the chance of catching either of them.