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How to Prevent Winter Colds

Dec 16, 2023

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How to Prevent Winter Colds

Published by Claudia Giunta. 

Whether you’re looking forward to a holiday vacation or have a big deadline at work you don’t want any signs of a cold or flu to affect your plans. One of the best ways to manage a cold is to avoid getting sick in the first place. While sometimes this seems unavoidable, there are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of getting sick. 

Nova Vita Solutions

Nova Vita is here to help you stay healthy all season long. Nova Vita Wellness Centers have several IV vitamin Infusions for flu season. Each infusion is backed by science and provides your body with the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants needed to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Our High Vitamin C Infusion contains immune-boosting properties and anti-inflammatory effects that further boost the immune system. Our Defense Infusion infusion boosts hydration and is designed to combat illnesses such as the flu, cold, and seasonal allergies. Our Cleanse Infusion helps remove toxins and improve a healthy digestive system. A healthy gut contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that help fight off viruses and bacteria. Additionally, our blood panels can assess your nutrient levels and detect any deficiencies. Our medical experts will then guide you on the resources that best fit your needs. 

What’s the Difference Between a Cold and the Flu?

The flu and the common cold can easily be mixed up because of their common symptoms. Both are contagious respiratory illnesses but are caused by different viruses. Influenza viruses cause the flu and numerous viruses, including rhinoviruses, parainfluenza, and coronaviruses can cause the common cold. The flu will feel much worse than the common cold and typically come on more abruptly. Flus may also lead to several other serious health problems such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations. 

Common Cold Symptoms

Cold symptoms will usually start with a sore throat and go away after a day or two. Nasal symptoms, runny nose, and congestion follow the sore throat and lead to a cough. Children are more likely to have a fever with a cold than adults. Cold symptoms will usually last for a week and during the next three days you are contagious. If your symptoms do not improve after a week, it’s important to see your doctor to determine if additional treatments or tests are necessary.

Flu Symptoms

Flu symptoms are usually more severe than cold symptoms and come on abruptly. Symptoms include sore throat, fever, headache, muscle aches, congestion, and a cough. Most flu symptoms will improve after two to five days but can last up to a few weeks. The flu can lead to pneumonia, especially in young adults, the elderly, or people with lung or heart problems. If you notice shortness of breath or a recurring fever, consult your doctor immediately.

Practice Prevention: How to Avoid the Flu and Cold

There are a few healthy habits you can practice to avoid getting sick this season. The tips and resources below will help you protect yourself and those around you from both bacterial and viral infections and help stop the spread of germs.

Wash Your Hands (The Right Way!)

It’s no secret that cold and flu viruses spread and you can easily pick up germs from what you touch every day. Someone who’s sick and sneezes into their hand and touches a countertop can leave germs that you can pick up even hours later. So wash your hands often and well!

Here’s a quick refresher on how to properly wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with warm water and add soap.
  2. Lather your hands with soap by rubbing your hands back and forth. Make sure to get the back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your fingernails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap.
  4. Rinse your hands with warm water.
  5. Dry your hands with a towel (Note: make sure to regularly clean your hand towels. These can hold germs too). 

If you are out and about and don't have easy access to soap and water, keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on you to help get rid of germs. Look for alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol. 

Keep Surfaces Clean 

Everyone picks up germs throughout the day; some can easily enter your house. To ensure everyone in your household stays healthy, it’s important to regularly wipe down your surfaces with disinfecting wipes or sprays that help reduce the spread of germs. 

Avoid Touching Your Face

Did you know that, on average, most people touch their faces 23 times an hour? Oftentimes it's done subconsciously and can be a difficult habit to break. The eyes, nose, and mouth are prime entry points for germs so rubbing your eyes, scratching your nose, and biting your nails are easy ways for germs to enter your body. It’s best to avoid touching your face or, if you have to, ensure your hands are clean by washing your hands or applying hand sanitizer. 

Stay Hydrated

Being dehydrated can lead to various health concerns, including the flu and cold. Keeping your body hydrated helps your body fight infections. To stay hydrated ensure you’re drinking plenty of healthy fluids. Recommendations state you should take half of your body weight and drink that amount in ounces daily. This can include water, electrolyte sports drinks, decaffeinated tea, and juice. Avoid sugary drinks and drinks that dehydrate you– coffee, soda, and alcohol. If you’re feeling dehydrated, you can easily replenish your body with an infusion! 

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial to keeping the immune system healthy. Not getting enough sleep can make your body more susceptible to catching germs and getting sick. Adults should aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep and kids may need 10 or more hours depending on their age. To prioritize your sleep, consider implementing a sleep schedule and routine. The secret to an effective sleep routine is consistency. Try to go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time. Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature. Avoid electronics for at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed. If you feel yourself getting sick make sure you are napping and getting adequate sleep to strengthen your immune system. 

Get Adequate Nutrition

All of the body’s cells require proper nutrition to function optimally. Eating wholesome, well-balanced meals not only promotes proper growth and development, it also strengthens the immune system. To boost your intake of infection-fighting antioxidants, load up your plate with lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. Also, consider taking a probiotic or eating foods high in probiotics (yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi) that help fight illnesses. Ensure you meet your daily Vitamin D needs through food intake, supplements, or booster injections. Eating a wide variety of nutritious foods and meeting your daily nutrient requirements will help ensure your immune system has what it needs to stay strong and fight off infections. 

Stay Active

Staying physically active helps strengthen the immune system by stimulating white blood cells that fight off infections. Physical activity also helps flush out bacteria from the lungs which reduces your risk of catching a cold. Additionally, exercise can help reduce stress levels and lower stress hormones can protect against illnesses. While exercise can boost your immunity, if you feel yourself getting sick ensure you’re allowing your body to properly rest. 

Bottom Line

Even if you’ve done everything you can to prevent the common cold, most adults get at least one to two colds every year. By getting enough rest, ensuring your nutrient levels are being met, and staying hydrated, you can help reduce your risk of getting sick. Contact Nova Vita today to explore a range of cold-fighting resources.