Is it cold and flu season already? It seems like only yesterday we were all basking in the summer sun. Regardless of the time of year, it’s helpful to know how to prevent the common cold beyond using hand sanitizer. Luckily, you can do plenty of things to help keep yourself healthy and prevent cold symptoms like a sore throat or runny nose from sneaking up on you. Here are some tips to get started!
1. Take Vitamins and Supplements
When it comes to avoiding a cold, vitamins and supplements can be your best friend. Our Daily Love Multivitamin + XOmegas is packed with all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. Vitamin D helps support your immune system, while B12, B6, and C help support your energy levels. Zinc and calcium are essential for strong bones and teeth, and iron helps keep your blood healthy.
2. Stay Hydrated
It’s a common fact that drinking plenty of fluids is important for your overall health.
But did you know that drinking plenty of water can also help to prevent the common cold? That’s because water helps to thin mucus, making it easier for your body to clear out infections. In addition, water helps keep your nose and throat moist, preventing viruses from taking hold and becoming respiratory infections. So next time you feel a cold coming on, reach for a glass of water first. You may just find that it is the perfect solution.
3. Try Probiotics
While you can’t necessarily prevent every cold that comes your way, you can do your best to reduce its frequency and severity by keeping your immune system strong. Your gut is connected to your immune system and many other bodily processes and systems — and if your gut isn’t in tip-top shape, the rest of your body might not be, either.
A simple and easy way to support your immune system and gut health is by taking a daily probiotic supplement, like Gut Feelings.
Not only does it contain over 10 billion CFUs of live and active cultures per serving, but it also has a blend of different strains of probiotics that are known to help support a healthy immune system.* Plus, it’s super easy to take – just take one capsule daily.
4. Exercise Regularly
Anyone who has ever caught a cold knows they can be miserable. There’s nothing fun about being sick, from sneezing and coughing to aches and pains. Exercise has been shown to boost the immune system and help stave off infection. In one study, people who exercised regularly were found to have up to a 50% lower risk of developing a cold. And even if you catch a cold, exercise can help you recover more quickly.
That’s because when you’re sick, your body needs more oxygen to fight the infection. Exercise helps to deliver oxygen to your cells, giving your immune system a much-needed boost. Even more, you can see other benefits from exercise too — such as weight management, support for emotional wellness, heart health support, and muscle growth.
5. Wash Your Hands Often
After the pandemic, it’s widely known that thorough handwashing helps prevent the spread of disease and viral infections.
However, many people don’t wash their hands as often as they should — or they don’t use the proper technique. As a result, germs and bacteria can easily build up on your hands and be transferred to other surfaces or people.
The next time you go to wash your hands, take a few extra seconds to make sure you’re doing it correctly. First, wet your hands with warm water and apply soap. Then, rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds and scrub all surfaces, including the backs of your hands and wrists, between your fingers, and under your nails. Rinse well with lukewarm water and dry with a clean towel or paper towel. By taking these simple steps, you can help reduce your risk of getting sick.
6. Watch What You Eat
One of the best ways to prevent getting sick is by boosting your immune system. And one of the best ways to boost your immune system is by eating healthy foods. Certain nutrients are particularly beneficial for immunity, so if you’re looking to stave off colds and other illnesses, you should include plenty of these immunity-boosting foods in your diet.
Vitamin C is one of the most well-known vitamins for immune support thanks to its antioxidant properties. It’s found in plenty of fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruits, bell peppers, kale, and broccoli. Other good cold-preventing foods include:
- Yogurt (which contains probiotics that help fight off infection)
- Garlic (which has natural antibiotic properties)
- Ginger (which can help relieve congestion)
- Chicken soup (which can help reduce inflammation)
So next time you’re looking to ward off a cold, make sure to stock up on these immunity-boosting foods!
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
We all know how it feels to be run down and exhausted. You probably don’t feel like doing much of anything and may even feel a little grumpy. When you’re tired, your body is trying to tell you something — it needs rest. Unfortunately, most of us don’t always listen to our bodies and instead try to push through the fatigue.
But it’s an important fact that getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick. When you’re sleep-deprived, your immune system can’t function at its best, and you become more susceptible to viruses and bacteria. So next time you’re feeling run down, take some time to rest and recharge. Your body will thank you for it!
8. Disinfect Surfaces
An easy and effective method to prevent the spread of germs is to disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently. This includes doorknobs, light switches, countertops, and keyboards.
By taking a few minutes each day to wipe down these surfaces with a disinfectant, you can help to prevent the spread of germs. Cold viruses are highly contagious and can easily be passed from person to person. However, by disinfecting surfaces that are commonly touched, especially if you know you have an infected person in your household or other space, you can help to reduce the risk of infection.
9. Manage Stress Levels
We all know how it feels to be under stress. Whether it’s from work, family, or financial worries, stress can take a toll on our mental and physical health. And one of the ways it can manifest itself is by making us more susceptible to colds and other illnesses. That’s because stress can weaken our immune system, leaving us less able to fight off infection. So if you’re feeling stressed, take some time to relax.
Even a few minutes of deep breathing or meditation can help reduce stress and support your immune system. This can go a long way, preventing a cold before it starts.
10. Get a Flu Shot
The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to get a flu shot yearly. The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot each year.
Flu shots are safe and effective and help reduce the risk of contracting the flu and experiencing severe symptoms if you become sick. In addition, getting a flu shot can help protect those around you, especially people at high risk for complications, such as young children and older adults.
11. Avoid Sugar and Refined Carbs
Cold and flu season is the most miserable time of the year. Luckily there are some things you can do to lessen your chances of getting sick. A great practice is to avoid sugar and refined carbs. Eating sugary foods weakens the immune system, making it more difficult for your body to fight off infection.
Refined carbs also have a similar effect, as they cause blood sugar levels to spike and then crash, leaving your body exhausted and vulnerable. So next time you’re feeling run down, resist the urge to reach for the candy bowl and instead stock up on immunity-boosting foods like garlic, ginger, and yogurt. Your body will thank you for it.
12. Use a Humidifier
A humidifier is one of the best ways to prevent a cold. Keeping the air in your home moist can help prevent the viruses that cause colds. Dry air is also difficult for your sinuses and throat, making you more susceptible to infection. A humidifier can help to soothe these tissues and reduce your risk of developing a cold.
In addition, a humidifier can also help relieve some symptoms of a cold, such as congestion and headaches, without the need for decongestants or nasal sprays. When used correctly, a humidifier can be an effective tool for preventing and treating colds.
13. Take a Warm Bath
When you feel a cold coming on, one of the best things you can do is take a warm bath. The heat helps increase blood flow and loosen mucus, making breathing easier. In addition, the steam can help to open up your sinuses and relieve congestion.
The relaxation that comes with warm water makes it easier to fight off the cold. So next time you feel a cold coming on, run a hot bath and relax. You may just find that it makes all the difference.
A Final Word
Prevention is always the best cure, especially concerning the common cold. Start implementing some of these 20 tips today and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you’re doing everything possible to stay healthy all winter long. Additionally, Love Wellness has a wide range of health products, from probiotics to multivitamins, that can help boost your immunity and keep you healthy all winter long. Don’t let the common cold get you down this season – stock up on our clean, doctor-developed Love Wellness products today!
The Effect of Exercise on Prevention of the Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trial Studies | PMC