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A woman drinking tea, helping to prevent get a cold

How do I prevent getting a cold?

This winter I’m not getting a cold. Say it with us. It sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Now statistically speaking most of us will get at least one cold a year. But who wants to be a statistic? It really doesn’t have to be that way.

With just a few changes to your home, hygiene and health you can stay strong and battle to keep colds at bay.

Health essentials for winter wellness

Keeping your body healthy and immune system in peak condition is essential for staying well during winter. Here’s how.

Keep active

Exercising regularly can help boost your immune system and make you less likely to succumb to the germs in the air. You can keep your immune system ticking over with as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day.

Take targeted supplements

Supplements such as Echinacea or Pelargonium can help ease your cold. Echinacea helps relieve symptoms of the common cold and influenza type infections, whilst Pelargonium will relieve the symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold.

Make sure you get enough sleep

Ideally, you’ll need to get seven or eight hours of good sleep a night to keep your immune system fighting fit. It’s so important that you stick to a regular routine and sleeping pattern, as well as creating the right environment for a decent sleep. That means no screen time right before you close your eyes.

Quick changes in the home to combat colds

Colds get passed on when you either touch the hand of someone carrying one or a contaminated surface, and then touch your eyes or nose. It can be hard to control in public places, but you can put your own prevention tactics in place at home.

Sanitise Surfaces

Keep all surfaces in the home clean and fresh by wiping them down with disinfectant wipes or sprays. Bugs and germs from cold and flu can stay on surfaces for up to 48 hours, so wipe down regularly. Your top targets should be:

  • Kitchen surfaces
  • Bathroom taps
  • Toilet handles
  • Door handles
  • Tables

Use a disposable wipe, paper towel or kitchen roll. Don’t use reusable cloths or sponges as they’ll harbour germs.

Disinfect everyday items

Wiping down surfaces isn’t enough. Think of all the other things we touch with our hands everyday in the home. Remember to disinfect:

  • The TV remotes
  • Smartphones
  • Computers and tablets

Boost immunity with humidity

Normally we clear mucus and germs through tiny hairs wafting them into our throat, where we swallow them. When it’s cold though this process is slowed down giving viruses longer to dwell in your lungs potentially causing an infection. Using a humidifier and keeping humidity levels in the home between 40 – 60 per cent can reduce the amount of time viruses survive in the air.

Everyday hygiene changes to keep colds at bay

By staying vigilant you can reduce the chances of picking up germs outside the home too.

Sanitise your hands

Keep sanitising or alcohol based wipes or gel on you at all times and use regularly throughout the day. Especially when you’re in public places. Whenever you shake anyone’s hand, wash yours.

Kick any nasty habits

Biting your nails is a sure-fire way to ingest germs into your system. It’s very simple, just kick this bad habit and stay healthy.

Avoid sharing food

This might be easier said than done, especially over Christmas, but steer clear of the buffet. You can’t legislate for other people’s hygiene. If you see anyone double dipping their crisps at a Christmas party, avoid that dip.

Sneeze in the crook of your elbow

We know it sounds a bit weird, but you should actually avoid sneezing into your hands as they’re a common source of germs which can be easily spread.

Say it with us again. This winter, I’m not getting a cold.

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