With the onset of monsoon and viral in the air, it is hard to avoid cold, cough and flu. A weak body and mind can slow down your daily activity adding more stress in your life. However, there are a number of ways to keep flu at bay and avoid cold from hampering your daily routine.
There are various factors that lead to catching cold and flu. The most obvious would be eating or drinking something cold, being in and out of an air-conditioned room, after applying henna, after a cold head bath, or getting wet in the rain.
Many of us after sneezing unintentionally will touch the phone, the kitchen glass, the laptop, or a doorknob. This leaves germs around, making the other person fall sick who comes in contact with everything you have touched.
Therefore, wash your hands as often as possible to avoid spreading the viruses and germs to others. Another way to avoid cold and flu is when you sneeze or cough, do not use your hands, instead use your upper forearm or a handkerchief.
Also, always keep a sanitizer near you or in your bag and use it frequently. The presence of alcohol in the sanitizer will help kill the germs.
Your nose and eyes are the most common places for germs to enter inside your body. Even those who bite their nails, where most of the germs live, can allow germs to enter and grow into an upper respiratory infection. Thus, to avoid cold and flu viruses don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands. It is best to avoid touching your face at all.
If you do need to wipe your runny nose or eyes – use a clean handkerchief or a napkin.
Therefore, teach your kids and yourself to always wash your hands after every meal and especially after visiting the washroom. Avoid biting your nails and touching your face all the time. These germs also cause skin infections such as acne, pimples and boils if you touch your face frequently.
Getting a seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to avoid cold and cough and protect yourself against the flu viruses. Flu vaccines trigger the antibodies to develop in the body, within 2 weeks of having the shot. The antibodies in the vaccine provide protection against flu infection. Although the flu shot may have side effects in some people, especially those allergic to chicken eggs, it cannot cause flu illness.
Moreover, the flu vaccine cannot prevent flu completely for everyone. But it can decrease and lessen the severity of the symptoms caused by flu. Head to your doctor early on in flu season and get yourself vaccinated.
Most of the people worldwide have a deficiency in Vitamin D. They fall short of their daily Vitamin D requirements. This leads to poor bone growth, weak immunity, and cardiovascular problems.
Since you end up with weak immunity, you are likely to catch the flu or cold easily. Thus, to improve your immunity and to avoid cold, you must eat food that has good sources of Vitamin D. Such as, mushrooms, cheese, lentils, yogurt, almond, egg yolks, salmon, canned tuna and beef liver.
Another way to increase Vitamin D in your body is to spend time in sunlight and the sun is one of the best sources of this nutrient. You can also consume vitamin D supplements after consulting your doctor.
A healthy diet can improve your immune system keeping it strong and helps to avoid cold and flu viruses from attacking. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates, and pro-biotics are the keys to good nutrition that will strengthen your immune system.
Foods such as garlic, kiwi, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, and green leafy vegetables are all cruciferous vegetables. They are low-calorie, and rich in folate, vitamins C, E, and K, and fiber.
Also, consuming yogurt that contains probiotics improves the regularity of your digestive system and helps to boost immune function. Regular use of probiotics keeps you healthier and decreases upper respiratory infections like the common cold.
Researchers in South Korea found that eating yogurt that includes probiotics for up to 3 months can make it easier to avoid cold and flu viruses.
Working out and exercising daily will boost your immune system, keep you fit and healthy and uplift your confidence. This will also help to avoid cold and flu viruses that otherwise will make you sick if you are not into exercising. The white blood cells in your body, which help to fight against infection, increases and circulates more rapidly with exercise. This offers another layer of protection against infection.
Exercise daily for at least 30 to 60 minutes per day of moderate-intensity movements such as walking, cycling, swimming or aerobics.
Drinking plenty of fluids particularly water is one of the best ways to avoid cold and flu viruses. Staying hydrated helps to flush out toxins from your body and strengthens your immune function to fight the viruses. Drinking plenty of liquids, whether cold or hot, keeps the mucous membranes moist avoiding any germs from entering.
Above all, prevent dehydration as it can weaken your body’s defenses to fight cold and flu. Avoid caffeinated drinks and alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol suppresses your immune system, making it more vulnerable to sickness. It also disrupts your sleep cycle and this raises the risk of infections in your body.
Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, and other liquids such as herbal teas and freshly squeezed juices.
We all know that smoking is harmful and dangerous for your health and also not very easy to quit. Smoking increases the risk of infections by making changes in the respiratory tract and decreasing your immune system. It prevents the body from keeping the germs away from the nose and lungs. It also destroys cilia, the hair-like fibers inside your nose, which can help increase infection risks.
Smoking can also dry out your mucous membranes and make them more vulnerable to germs. Thus, to avoid cold and flu viruses, it is best to quit smoking.
Staying up late to binge-watch your favorite TV show might not be ideal for your health. Lack of adequate sleep is associated with lower immune function and can leave you vulnerable to illnesses. Sleep hygiene is very beneficial for your health, it isn’t about the quantity of sleep as much as the quality of sleep. Thus, a regular sleep cycle will maintain your sleep quality and also boost your immune system. Keep away all electronic devices before getting into bed.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, school-age children need between 9 to 11 hours of sleep, while adults need 7 to 9 hours of good sleep.
If your family, friends or colleagues have fallen sick, keep your distance from them as you can catch a cold or flu as well. Keep a distance of 2 feet from them. A cold virus can be contagious up to 2 weeks even if the person is on antibiotics. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections but curb the common cold.
Also, to avoid cold do not share cups, straws, food or other personal items. The cold virus can be dormant for 24 to 72 hours before the symptoms begin.
Stress affects you in a number of ways both physically and mentally. It increases the possibility of getting sick. Stress also affects the duration of your recovery as it takes longer to heal. It disrupts your sleep cycle, appetite, and emotional well-being. To avoid cold and flu virus, keep your stress levels down by identifying the reason, learning stress and anxiety management techniques, practicing yoga and meditation, and indulging in activities you love doing.