When the cold season approaches, we often tend to become a sniffling mess. With our noses blocked and a sore throat getting into our nerves, we tend to keep cursing the season and ourselves as well. So, how do you think you can prevent this mess?
It has been reported that 33 million people are diagnosed with cold and cough every year. This is because people are unaware of the easiest steps they can take to prevent a cold. Read on to know the four simple and easy steps you can always take to stop getting a cold every year. The only secret of following these steps is to be diligent and stick to the advice as the moment you stop following them, the cold-causing rhinovirus will attack you.
1. Avoid Touching Your Face
Well, although it sounds very easy, this step is hard to follow. It has been proved by a 2012 study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases that people touch their faces 3.6 times every hour on an average. Touching your face is very common, and this is why, the risk of getting a cold is also common in many people. People who have reported to touch their nose or eyes with their fingers often are almost 41 percent more likely to suffer from an upper respiratory infection than those who do not touch their faces.
Common cold is usually caught by germ droplets in the air, which is the most efficient form of transmission. This transmission often happens through hand contact as the secretions contain the virus for common cold. When the hands touch a surface with the common cold virus on it and then touch the face, the germ is easily transferred. If you cannot stop touching your face, keep washing your hands to avoid a cold.
2. Sleep Well
A study published in the journal Sleep has reported that people who sleep for less than six hours at night are more likely to catch a cold than those who sleep for at least seven hours or more. This might be caused because loss of sleep messes up with certain types of immune cells called B and T cells. The B and T cells have proved to protect us from the attack of viruses. Sleep loss is also related to an increase in inflammation, and inflammation is believed to play a role in the severity of cold symptoms.
3. Hit The Gym
You should work out during that time of the day when the temperature drops. It has been found that people who exercise five or more days in a week are 46 percent less likely to catch a cold than those who exercise one day or less every week. This is because, when we exercise, our blood flow and body temperature increases, and our muscles contract. These factors send a signal to the body to activate the important disease-fighting cells stored in the lymphoid tissues. These disease-fighting cells are then recirculated throughout the body, which help the body detect and kill the potential disease-causing germs.
It has been found that a session of cardio exercises for 30 to 60 minutes does the trick. Resistance training too, has been found to be helpful but a total body training needs to be done.
4. Hugs Are Helpful
A study published in the journal Psychology Science has found that those people who are stressed out and have hugged a friend within the past day are better able to fight the virus that causes cold than those who are more likely not to hug. According to the study, hugging is a physical expression to show social support, and people who feel they are supported, are better in handling stress than those who feel lonely. This is important because stress increases the risk of catching a cold as certain hormones are released in the body that wreaks havoc in our immune system.