Common cold is a disease that develops as a result of viral infection. While there are over 200 types of viruses that can lead to common cold, it is possible to keep the disease at bay by taking few simple precautions.
- Wash your hands
Common cold spreads through contact. Someone who has a cold may sneeze onto their hands, and then touch their keyboard, their desk, the doorknob, and other things in the office. The germs will then be picked up by the next person who touches the same object. Washing your hands frequently will help mitigate the spread of the virus.
- Don’t cover your sneezes or coughs with your hands
Don’t allow the germs to cling to your hands by muffling your sneezes and coughs with your bare hands. You will only end up passing on the germs to others through your hands. Use a tissue to sneeze or cough into and then throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, turn your head away from people near you and cough into the air. It’s still better than allowing the germs to deposit on surfaces that others can come into contact with.
- Don’t touch your face
Cold and flu viruses enter the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. Touching your face is a major way you catch a cold. So don’t do it.
- Drink plenty of fluids
Drinking water when you have a cold is tough. But water flushes your system, washes out toxins and rehydrates. Drink up your daily quota of 8 glasses of water without fail. Anything hot – like soup, tea and coffee – would be helpful.
- Get fresh air
Staying indoors in cold weather seems the wisest thing to do. But imagine a cold, moist room at the office, with air conditioning, and full of people busily working away. Germs can easily circulate in closed, dry, crowded environments. You must aim to get yourself your regular quota of fresh air.
- Exercise regularly
Exercise makes you sweat once your body heats up. It helps increase the body’s natural mechanism to kill viruses.
- Eat raw vegetable containing phytochemicals
Eating dark green, red and yellow vegetables and fruits containing phytochemicals is good for you body’s immune system. Also ensure that they are properly cleaned.
- Be active
Avoid being sedentary. Be active at all times. This boosts your body’s immunity.
- Don’t smoke
Smoking or being around smoke makes you more prone to colds because this dries your nasal passages and paralyses cilia. Cilia are the delicate hairs lining your mucous membranes that sweep away cold viruses. Cigarette smoke is known to paralyse cilia for about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Limit alcohol consumption
Heavy drinking also suppresses the immune system and makes you prone to infections. Alcohol also has a drying effect on the body, which makes it easier for germs to be attracted.
Gargling with warm salt water would give relief.
- Take regular hot water baths and inhale steam to relieve stuffiness
Taking a hot water bath helps make you feel better instantly. The hot water makes it difficult for cold viruses to survive. Inhaling steam also works to relieve stuffy noses and prevent colds from developing. Put some eucalyptus oil or any cold relief balm in the water, or rub it on your nose before inhaling – the astringent properties in them help our body take in the steam better.