Just around the time the days start getting shorter and the evenings cooler, end of season colds catch up with us. But if you're prepared, you can avoid the worst of it.
Why now? Well, schools open around this time and viruses spread among children in close contact. Then they hop over to us. And the viruses that give us colds tend to flourish in warm or hot weather.
So what can you do to avoid catching an late-summer or early autumn cold?
GET MOVING Activity keeps your blood circulating and your body strong so that it has energy to stand up to infections. Regular exercise also makes you thirsty and causes you to drink more water. When you exercise and drink the recommended amount of water, toxins are easily flushed out of the body and the immune system grows stronger.
WASH HANDS THOROUGHLY Cold and flu viruses are most commonly spread by direct contact, such as touching a telephone, remote control or key board that was just showered by a sneeze. Try this trick when washing your hands. Rub them together hard, and sing a simple song twice. "Happy Birthday" or "Summer Time" should do the trick. Rubbing them with soap and water breaks up the germs and singing provides the right amount of time needed for the washing action to do its job.
TAKE DAILY VITAMIN AND MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS If you know you don't eat all the fresh fruits and vegetables you need for optimal nutrition and a healthy immune system, take a daily multivitamin to make up for it.
PROTECT YOUR EYES The eyes easily absorb viral particles. If someone with a cold or flu sneezes in your face, it's more likely than not you will catch it. Glasses (prescription or sun glasses) can reduce the contagion.
And what if, despite your good efforts, you do catch a cold? Experts say treat it symptomatically. For example, if you have a runny nose, get cold and flu pills for those symptoms or nasal inhalers. And make sure you get plenty of rest.Of course, see a doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen.
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