February may well be upon us but that doesn’t mean that the weather is getting any cheerier. No, it feels like the cold weather is very much here to stay and there’s not a whole lot we can do about it. While we can’t do much about the horrid weather, we can do a thing or two about our health! If you want to avoid getting a seasonal cold, I hear you. There’s nothing worse than feeling all icky and having to rest to get over the pain of the whole thing. Nightmare.
Symptoms of the common cold include a runny nose, headaches, sleepiness, coughs, achiness, pains, a high temperature, and a loss of taste and smell. Needless to say, it’s not a nice experience, and yet it affects an awful lot of us every single year without fail. The worst part about this is that many people don’t get sick pay. So, when they have to take time off to deal with the horrible situation, they have absolutely no choice but to lose out on money and end up falling short by the end of the month.
If you want to avoid just that problem, you’re in luck. There are some relatively easy (and free) ways in which you can avoid struggling with a cold. You don’t need to fork out all your hard-earned cash to buy expensive supplements or medication. That’s not how things work at all. Instead, all you need is some good, old-fashioned common sense. With a little smarts and some simple lifestyle changes, you can make 100% sure that you won’t be ill this season. What could be better than that?
So, where should you start? Well, let’s take a look at just ten of the small, easy things that you can try for yourself. None of these will cost you all that much money, but they will help you stay as healthy as can be. Why not write them down for yourself and try them out?
1. Keep your hands clean
Want to hear something kind of gross? Brace yourself. According to the NHS guidelines, germs from coughs and sneezes can live out in the air for much longer than you might expect. In fact, they may survive on hands and surfaces for a whopping 24 hours after the initial sneeze.
That means that if some unpleasant person sneezes on their hand and opens a public door, the germs from that sneeze may stay there for a whole day. When you come to push the door open, you could find that you pick up the germs and (you guessed it!) get seriously ill in the process.
For that reason, it’s completely vital that you make the time to clean your hands on a regular basis. You could do this by visiting the bathroom a thousand times per day or you could always use some hand sanitiser instead. You can pick up a whole load of anti-bacterial gels online for next to nothing. It could be worth getting a few of these for the cold season so that you’re well prepared.
Buy: Purell Hand Gel
2. Get some more sleep
How much sleep do you tend to get on a nightly basis? Many of us like burning the wick at both ends. While staying up until 3am for your latest Netflix binge may seem like a good idea, it could well be playing havoc with your immune system. When you don’t give your body the rest and relaxation that it needs, you could find that it struggles to ward off infections, viruses, and illnesses.
That’s because your immune system will ultimately suffer when you make this grave mistake. It’s far better to get into a routine of getting a full night’s sleep as much as you can. It may sound dull and boring, but it will make a difference to how your body copes and whether it can fight off germs.
3. Keep as warm as possible
The weather is dropping lower and lower, which means that you should wrap up as warm as possible. Layering up and making sure that you have the essentials, like gloves, scarves, and hats, means that you will feel cosier than ever. What’s more, it also means that you will avoid allowing yourself to become ill and get a seasonal cold. Make sure that you check the weather each and every morning and choose clothes that fit the bill. Yes, protecting yourself can really be that simple, when you think about it.
4. Boost your vitamin intake
Vitamins boost your immune system. It’s no great secret. You likely already know it. So, ask yourself, why aren’t you consuming more of them? There are many ways in which you can boost your vitamin intake. For instance, you could find that eating more fruit and vegetables is the way to go. If you’re a fussy eater, you may want to make a refreshing fruit smoothie each morning. Getting fruit from a local market and blending it up yourself is sure to be cheaper than buying big brand name smoothies!
Failing that, you could always opt for some supplements. While there are many stores that sell vitamins, you may find that getting them online in bulk is the way to go. When you start shopping around, you should find that these things aren’t as expensive as you think.
5. Keep yourself hydrated
This one should go without saying, but you have to keep yourself as hydrated as possible when you’re worried about catching a cold. The NHS recommends that you should be drinking between six and eight glasses of water each and every day. Most people don’t drink anything near that amount, which is a real problem. Try carrying a water bottle around with you each day. You will find that you naturally start to drink more water when it’s easily accessible and you don’t have to think about it too much.
Buy: Water Bottle
6. Avoid ill people!
Is someone sneezing in your office? Did you just see the checkout girl cough into her sleeve? These are signs that you need to be aware of each and every day. It may sound a little harsh, but when you notice that someone has a cold, you may want to avoid them at all costs. You should avoid direct contact with these people.
That means you shouldn’t be hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with them. You don’t need to make it obvious that you’re steering clear of them, but you should be as mindful as possible when it comes to this point. It could be the difference between staying fit and healthy and catching a cold.
7. Stay active each and every day
How much do you work out? Many of us claim that we simply don’t have the time to stay fit and healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth. Keeping active boosts your immune system, which means that you’re less likely to suffer from colds and other pesky infections. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that working out makes a whole load of sense. Don’t worry. You don’t have to pay for a super expensive gym membership to stay in shape. There are plenty of free alternatives, like going for a run in the park or working out in the comfort of your very own home.
8. Quit smoking
Do you need another reason to quit smoking? You may just have found it. Research has found that smoking cigarettes lowers your immune system and makes you more susceptible to getting infections and viruses. The sooner you quit, the sooner you can start leading a healthy lifestyle. Of course, often enough, that’s easier said than done! It’s worth looking for some of the helpful, free resources online to help you through the process. Remember, it may be hard when you first start out, but the lasting benefits of giving up far outweigh the irritation of doing so.
9. Get some fresh air
While it may well feel counterproductive, you need to get outside and get some fresh air. If you huddle inside this entire season, you’re only likely to end up spreading germs around your home. That’s not the way to go. Getting out now and then for a walk could be all it takes to help you get some fresh air and feel better. Make a habit of doing this at least once a day and stick to it. While it may be a weird one, it really does work.
10. Try to be happy
Finally, here’s quite an odd way to avoid a seasonal cold. Make yourself happy. Recent research found that experiencing joy or happiness helps people boost their immune system in a significant way. So, that’s why cheerful people never seem to have colds! Focus on doing the things that make you feel bright and cheery. For example, you may want to spend time with your friends, your loved ones, or even just a pet. Then again, your version of happy may also be some time alone with a good book. Just go with whatever works for you!
Combine happiness with a comfy blanket for the ultimate warm lounge