There is nothing like a cold to dampen the mood and ruin fun plans. That feeling of dread accompanied by a scratchy throat, itchy eyes, congestion, or a runny nose is not an enjoyable one. Thankfully, there are a few surefire ways to stop a cold before it gets started. Read on for preventative methods for preventing a cold from ruining your week and stop it dead in its tracks.
As soon as you begin to feel any kind of cold symptoms, grab a glass of water, soup broth, or juice and drink up. Water helps to flush out your system and keep you feeling hydrated. It is ideal to drink at least eight to ten glasses of water daily. Drinking vitamin-rich juices and hearty soup broths help to boost your immune system as well. Limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine as these will only serve to dehydrate you and interfere with proper rest and repair.
Hygiene and Mental Well Being
It might seem like an obvious step to staying cold-free, but many people neglect washing their hands. Since cold and flu viruses spread via direct contact, hand washing is your first line of defense when it comes to fighting them off. Germs can live on for hours after you come in contact with them, so it’s important to consistently and regularly wash your hands to neutralize them.
Another aspect to keep in mind when preventing a cold is that relaxation and stress management also have their benefits to fighting viruses. Too much physical or emotional stress can harm your body’s immunity in numerous ways. In fact, an incoming cold may be your body’s way of telling you that you’re doing a little too much. To fight off any impending cold or flu symptoms, take time out to relax and recharge. Getting adequate rest and a good night’s sleep will boost your immune function in no time.
Light Exercise and Preventative Medication
When you feel a cold coming on, it’s not a good idea to go out and run a marathon or do any kind of hardcore fitness. That being said, light to moderate exercise has its benefits when it comes to fighting off pesky colds. This is because light to brisk walking, cycling, and other aerobic exercises can help boost your body’s defenses against viruses and bacteria. Make sure you’re not hitting the gym too hard, though, because too much bodily stress can have the opposite effect. Take care to clean public gym exercise equipment as well to stop germs from spreading.
It may also help you to gargle some warm salt water or utilize a saline nasal spray. These can help clear mucus membranes, lower inflammation, and clear nasal passages. A hot shower is also great for clearing airways and clearing up congestion. Over-the-counter decongestants such as Claritin-D, allergy medication like Benadryl and Zyrtec, and pain relievers can help lower inflammation, relieve aches and pains, and calm other cold symptoms. Skip the cough syrup though; honey works just as well. Try a nice hot cup of hot tea with a little honey and lemon to soothe your throat instead.
Increasing your vitamin intake is a great idea when you’re feeling under the weather. You can do this in a few ways. Add some healthy supplements to your daily routine or get them from vitamin-rich foods such as soup broths, fruits, and leafy green vegetables. Eating a cup of yogurt is also a fantastic thing to do for preventing a cold as the active cultures have been shown to boost immunity and lower susceptibility to colds by up to 25 percent. If you find yourself plagued by frequent colds and allergies, schedule a consultation with Dr. Shukla today.
About Dr. Shukla: Dr. Mayank Shukla has been helping New York City residents find relief from allergies, asthma, and sleep disorders for more than 15 years. Treating both children and adults, he utilizes a unique combined approach to treatment to help solve complex issues and give patients the peace of mind they truly deserve.