Colds are a common ailment that can leave us feeling under the weather, impacting our daily lives. However, with proactive measures, good hygiene practices, and effective remedies, it’s possible to minimise the risk of catching a cold, maintain overall well-being, and manage symptoms when they arise.
As a global health consultancy, COLUMBIA pure is aware of many ways you can try to reduce the risk of catching a cold in the first place, with the overarching focus being on the importance of hygiene. One of the simplest yet most effective preventive measures is frequent handwashing. Proper hand hygiene, which means washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, significantly reduces the risk of viral transmission. Where soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content is an excellent alternative and will also help to stop the spread of germs.
The face is a common entry point for viruses, so try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to reduce the likelihood of infection.
We frequently heard the term ‘social distancing’ during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is also a useful measure to reduce the risk of many common viruses including colds. Practice social distancing, especially during cold and flu seasons or outbreaks, and stay away from individuals displaying symptoms of illness.
Having a holistic approach to managing your health will also protect against colds, and this includes having regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough sleep. These factors can all contribute to boosting and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Another important step is to make sure you stay hydrated. This might sound like an obvious one, but ensuring we have adequate hydration throughout the day is vital to support overall health and to help the body function optimally. The amount of water a person needs to drink each day can vary based on factors such as age, sex, weight, physical activity level and overall health, however a commonly recommended guideline is to aim for about eight glasses a day, roughly two litres.
To avoid catching and spreading colds and other respiratory infections, it’s essential to practise good hygiene measures. Some effective strategies to help prevent the spread of cold viruses include:
- Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your elbow and disposing of used tissues promptly.
- Regularly cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces in your home and workplace to reduce the risk of viral transmission.
- Not sharing personal items such as towels, razors, or eating utensils, as these can be vectors for spreading germs.
- Wearing a mask if you are sick to prevent the spread of respiratory droplets and protect those around you.
If you do catch a cold and it leaves you feeling under the weather, the following remedies may help alleviate symptoms. However, it is important to remember that if your symptoms persist or worsen, you should seek advice from a healthcare professional. Additionally, if you have underlying health conditions or are taking other medications, consult with your healthcare provider before trying new remedies.
One of the most crucial components of the healing process is rest. Allow your body to recover by resting as much as possible and getting plenty of sleep.
Adequate hydration helps to soothe symptoms and supports recovery. Stay hydrated by consuming warm liquids such as herbal teas and broths.
Consume a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and foods packed with essential vitamins and minerals to boost your immune system.
A variety of over-the-counter medications can provide relief from cold symptoms. Follow dosing instructions and consult with a healthcare professional if needed.
As colds tend to dry out our nasal passages causing congestion, using a humidifier can provide several benefits including reducing dryness, soothing irritated airways, easing breathing and loosening mucus. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air, particularly if you’re experiencing respiratory symptoms.
Warm Salt Gargle
A simple remedy to soothe a sore throat is gargling with warm salt water. Not only will this bring relief but it will also promote healing.
By adopting a proactive approach to prevention, maintaining excellent hygiene practices, and implementing effective remedies when needed, you can significantly reduce the impact of colds on your well-being.
Stay healthy this winter!
Please note, all content provided is for informational purposes, and is believed to be accurate and current at the time of posting. It should not, at any time, be used in place of appropriate professional or expert advice.