As the weather begins to decrease, the risk of contracting the common cold tends to increase. While having a cold is not a life-threatening illness for most people, it can still cause you to struggle through your daily routine. Of course, it is always favorable to feel your healthiest and most energetic. One way to ward off illness is to see your doctor about receiving a flu vaccination, but there are ways that you can adapt to a healthier lifestyle that will reduce your risk of contracting common colds.
Eat More Vegetables
Eating vegetables in not only useful for people interested in losing weight, these foods can also greatly strengthen your immune system. Dark leafy green vegetables are especially good suppliers of vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that can give your body the fuel it needs to protect against illness. Studies have shown that individuals with an increased intake of vitamins C and D have been able to greatly reduce their risk of contracting a cold, but in order to put up the best defense; it is wise to create a well-rounded vitamin rich diet. Always consult with your physician before making dramatic changes to your diet, however.
Wash Your Hands
Most people are aware that it is crucial to keep hands clean in order to avoid harmful germs and bacteria. Majority of flu and cold viruses are not spread through airborne germs; they are contracted through physical contact. In most cases, you become sick after shaking someone’s hand, handling money, or touching any communal surface that a person who is ill has touched. If you are worried about getting the flu or a cold, you should wash your hands regularly throughout the day, or use hand sanitizers. It is especially important to wash your hands thoroughly before eating, after using the restroom, and after touching any public surface such as a handrail or door handle.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Even if you do touch a contaminated surface, you may be safe as long as you can refrain from touching your face. The viruses are not typically spread through the skin. They enter your body through the mouth, nose, and eyes. In order to avoid contracting the virus, you must break any habits that involve touching the face. This includes not covering your mouth with your bare hand when you sneeze or cough. You should instead use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth. This protects your health, as well as the health of others if you have already developed a cold.
A great way to give your energy levels and immune system a much needed boost is to do cardiovascular exercises regularly. Cardio exercises are exercises that increase your heart rate. These exercises increase the amount of oxygen distributed to your cells and also increase the body’s virus-killing cells.
Refrain from Smoking and Consuming Alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol can significantly suppress the body’s immune system, greatly increasing the risk of developing more severe and frequent colds. In order to prevent a cold, or recover from one, the body requires generous hydration, and alcohol significantly dehydrates the body.
Rest and Relax
A good night’s sleep and the ability to relax can have a major affect on the immune system. If you are experiencing ongoing stress, this can have a negative affect on not only your mind and mood, but also your body. Stress can weaken the body and it’s ability to protect against illness. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to reduce your risk of developing a cold is to learn how to relax your mind and sleep soundly.