How do we catch a cold?
We’ve all been there, one day your fine, the next your nose is runny and you throat starts to feel scratchy. One of the more common ways that we can catch a cold is through germs left from somebody else on the things that we touch everyday such as door handles. Germs can survive for up to 3 hours so it is important to make sure you wash your hands or use an antibacterial hand cleanser often to stop germs before they spread into your system.
Colds are more common in Winter mainly due to the close contact we have with others with germs as we spend a lot more time inside during these months. Its important to remember that colds are spread through germs, not by the temperature.
How can we prevent a cold?
As soon as we feel Cold like symptoms, we need to listen to our bodies and rest. Your body knows when your tired whether it be physically or mentally and this can have a direct impact on our immune system. If symptoms do start to develop then try to squeeze in some extra sleep to help your body recover.
Colds can spread even before your own symptoms develop. Make sure you cover your nose and mouth when you cough or cover your nose with a tissue when you sneeze to prevent your germs spreading to others. Also stay clear from others that don’t!
How can we beat a cold?
Hot shower / Steam
The steam from a hot shower will help clear your sinuses, helping you to breathe better. Take one shower in the morning when you first start the day to help clear your nasal passages and have one before bed to help you have a restful nights sleep.
Keeping your body and in particular your neck warm will help your body focus its energy on fighting your cold. Wrap up warm and wear a scarf when outside, when inside stay under the duvet or better yet where a thermal top from Uniqlo with Heat Tech technology to help keep in the warm.
Take a day off to rest
The effective way to beat a cold is to rest! Your body has what it needs to beat the common cold but our fast paced ‘work’ ‘work’ ‘work’ lifestyles lead to us loosing sight of the basics. Many of us continue to work when we are ill, which leads to us feeling unwell for twice as long. Taking 2-3 days off with total relaxation is generally all your body needs to get yourself fighting fit (providing you do rest). While this may sound obvious it is advice we rarely take and because of our stubbornness we end up passing on the virus to others in the workplace!
Tea / Hot drinks
Hot Drinks such as Tea help to relieve nasal congestion and soothe the nose and throat when they are inflamed. The heat from the liquid naturally can control a persistent cough and the fluid you consume will help loosen your mucus. The aim of the game is to prevent yourself from coughing as each cough creates the vicious cycle of irritating the throat further.
Salt water helps to moisten your sore or scratchy throat by soothing the tickly feeling that leads to a persistent cough. Add half a teaspoon of salt to a glass of water, stir then gargle for 30 seconds at least four times a day to help prevent yourself from coughing.
Boost your immune system with Vitamin C
Increase your Vitamin C intake with oranges or freshly squeezed orange juice to help your body shorten the length of your cold. Other foods high in Vitamin C or even Vitamin C supplements will help your body fight of the cold naturally.
Honey, lemon, ginger, cinnamon drink
Any combination of Honey, Lemon, Ginger and Cinnamon will help combat symptoms of a cold, but combined they can prove to be one powerful concoction. Slice up some Lemons and a stem of Ginger and put them in a Mason Jar with a generous amount of Honey and a few sticks of cinnamon. Add some water to the mix and leave in the fridge overnight. The next day pour a small amount into a mug and add hot water for a deliciously soothing drink.
Change pillow cases daily
Throughout the night when you have cold your nose may be running which results in leaving bacteria on your pillow case. Changing your pillow case daily may help prevent the length of your cold as you are not continuing to come in contact with the bacteria from this every night when you go to sleep.
Bacteria on electronic devices
Wipe your mobile phone and computer keyboards daily with a safe anti bacterial wipe designed for electronic devices. As hands spread germs to these devices all day its best to keep them clean and this will also help prevent the bacteria spreading to others.
Menthol Throat Lozenges
Jakemans Honey & Lemon are delicious lozenges that soothe your throat and help to prevent you from wanting or needing to cough. The end result? A faster recovery.
Vickes have a range of products that can help including the Vickes Steam inhaler which is an inexpensive rethink of the timeless bowl and hot water method. Simply fill the base of the steam inhaler with hot water, add the supplied menthol pad and periodically inhale and breathe out. This is an effective way of clearing your nasal passages.
Nasal sprays such as Otrivine Nasal Congestion Relief use xylometazoline hydrochloride in combination with menthol to open up your nasal passages. Use in the morning, late afternoon and before bed to help your breathing throughout the day and have a good nights sleep. Remember to always read the label.
A saline nose spray is also a good option for nose with sensitive nasal walls. A saline solution is quite simply purified water mixed with salt and will help flush out mucus from your nasal passages.
Echinacea supplements are made from echinacea purpurea which is a purple coneflower from North America. Echinacea has been used for over 400 years as a traditional herbal remedy to help strengthen the immune system. Always read the label.
Sambucol 120ml Extra Defence
Sambucol is an Black Elderberry syrup which is rich in naturally occurring flavonoids. Black elderberries have twice natural antioxidant capacity of blueberries and more than 50% the overall antioxidant capability of cranberries. Antioxidants in our foods help strengthen the immune system by helping neutralise the harmful effect of free radicals.