Tricks And Hacks On How To Prevent A Cold This Winter
Winter is almost here and whilst that may mean it’s a time for celebrations and getting cosy on the couch, it’s also the dreaded time of year when colds are more prevalent due to the weather.
You know the symptoms all too well, a sore throat, a blocked nose, sneezing and coughing.
Not to mention, a cold pretty much leaves you bed bound and exhausted for days – it’s not ideal for university life, is it?
Don’t stress too much, there are a few tricks and hacks on how to prevent a cold and we’ve included them right here – you’ll have good health boxed off this season!
1. Watch What You Eat & Drink
Our first hack to prevent a cold is to watch what you eat and drink during the winter months, whilst this one’s a bit obvious, it’s super important.
It’s all too easy to order takeaway after takeaway and fill your face with festive snacks during the winter months, but having a well-balanced diet can amp up your protection from sickness.
Make sure you eat enough fruit and vegetables and keep yourself hydrated if you want to steer clear of the dreaded winter cold.
We know, it’s hard to focus on your diet and weekly food shop as a student, but try to ensure you’re getting enough nutrients and getting good sources of iron, protein and calcium.
Drinking enough water and making herbal teas are great ways to combat a cold.
We’d also recommend cutting down on alcohol and caffeine if you’re aiming for good health this season, as they can weaken your body’s ability to kill off colds.
If you’re already ill, definitely avoid these as they’ll only make your symptoms worse!
2. Take Multivitamins
Another trick to prevent a cold is to take vitamins and supplements.
During the winter, our bodies cannot make vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight within the UK, so it’s especially important to incorporate this vitamin into your diet by taking daily supplements.
There are other vitamins which can help support the normal functioning of our immune systems and help our body fight off colds like Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Zinc.
If you’re not getting enough of these vitamins within your diet, it might be worth taking some vitamin supplements to help boost your immune system and stay healthy.
3. Get Enough Sleep
Giving your body the rest it needs by ensuring you get enough sleep is another way to prevent a cold.
We all know that sleeping can do the world of wonders when it comes to actually being sick, but to avoid getting ill in the first place, try to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern.
Getting a proper night’s sleep of around 7 to 8 hours per night can help your immune system stay strong and healthy.
This might not be possible every night and it may be more challenging to sleep during the winter months, but try your best to get as many hours in as you can.
Student life might be busy and hectic sometimes, but don’t neglect quality sleep, otherwise you might end up being burnt out and facing a cold this winter – nobody wants that!
4. Keep Your Home Clean & Tidy
We might be going back to basics here as they say, but keeping your home clean and tidy can help to prevent a cold this winter.
Student homes are infamous for being on the dirtier side of things most of the time, and whilst it can be time consuming to carry out chores, you need to ensure you’re cleaning up after yourself if you want to stay healthy.
That’s right, you will need to disinfect those communal spaces to help prevent the spread of germs and give the likes of countertops, door handles and TV remotes a clean.
It might be a pain, but be sure to empty your bins within your student home too.
Also make sure to regularly wash your hands with soap especially when you’ve been out and about whether it’s on campus, using public transport or even at the gym, otherwise you could catch cold and flu germs and bring them home with you!
We’d recommend carrying around some hand sanitizer in your bag to use when you’re on the go to keep your hands clean – they’re entry points for germs.
5. Clean Everyday Items
Cleaning your home spaces is important to reduce bacteria and cold and flu germs, but so is cleaning everyday items.
Let’s be honest, how many of us clean our phones often? Probably a very small portion of people do.
Unfortunately, research suggests that smartphones can carry three times the number of germs that shared door handles do and they can be dirtier than toilet seats – eeew!
If you’re wondering how to prevent a cold, it’s to disinfect those items that you use on a daily basis whether it’s your phone, the laptop you take to lectures, your glasses case, your water bottle, the list goes on.
You only need some cleaning wipes or hot soapy water, it’s quick and easy so try not to forget to clean them every so often, otherwise they can be a feeding ground for germs this winter!
6. Stay Warm
We know, staying warm is easier said than done, especially with the rise of energy bills amidst the cost of living crisis.
However, if you’re able to, try and keep yourself and your home as warm as you can as bacteria thrives in colder temperatures and can increase your chances of getting a cold.
If you’re worried about putting your heating on within your student home due to rising costs, then why not put your thermostat on a timer to heat your home up only when it’s necessary?
There are other ways to keep yourself toasty during the winter, like wearing extra layers at home, keeping draughts out, investing in an electric blanket, having a hot shower, the list goes on.
So, keep your body temperature warm to help to prevent your chances of getting the common cold!
7. Practice Exercising
Let’s be real, no one really wants to exercise when it’s freezing outside, if working out wasn’t already off putting, it’s even more so when it’s cold, wet and windy!
Although, exercising and keeping your body fit can help reduce the likelihood of contracting a cold this winter.
Try to maintain an exercise routine and live an active lifestyle even during the winter.
You don’t need to run marathons, but getting out and partaking in a daily walk, working out in the gym or even practising some yoga can benefit your immune system.
Plus, our physical and mental health go hand in hand, so not only will your body benefit but your mind will too, due to the release of endorphins from physical activity – it’s a win win!
Of course, don’t overdo your daily exercise as this can make your body more fatigued and increase the likelihood of feeling unwell, moderate exercise is key.
8. Manage Stress Levels
Another hack to rule out getting a cold is to try and manage your stress levels.
This is because when you are severely stressed, you can be more likely to catch the common cold due to its impact on the immune system.
Times are tough during student life and even more so with the current issues happening within the UK at the minute, but there are some helpful stress managing techniques you can make the most of.
A couple of stress relievers include meditating, practising mindfulness, deep breathing, going for a walk and connecting with others.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you should also try to focus on things you like doing and take time to have an all important break from studying and working hard.
9. Avoid Contact With Others
This next trick may seem impossible for student life, with the vast amount of people you encounter on a daily basis whether it’s at uni, within your student accommodation or at the library, but if you can, try to limit your social interaction with sick people.
If someone you know starts coughing and spluttering all of a sudden, it might be best to avoid them for a few days.
Or, at the very least avoid sharing things like cups and foods with people who are showing symptoms of a cold to reduce your chances of catching it!
Vice versa, if you notice that you’re starting to feel under the weather, try to stay home and rest up rather than going out and about.
Uni life awaits you when you’re better, don’t risk making yourself feel worse or making other people catch your cold.
10. Wear A Mask
Gone are the days of compulsory mask wearing in public spaces, although they are still useful for preventing a cold.
Chances are, you probably have some masks sitting in a drawer somewhere from the pandemic, if you do, wear them when you’re out and about this winter if you want to eliminate the chances of getting sick.
Wearing a face mask not only helps reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19, but also germs from the common cold.
You might be afraid of ‘looking silly’ but if you don’t want to be bed bound with a poor cold, it’s a good idea to protect yourself and others!
No-one enjoys getting sick, but with our tricks and hacks you can help prevent yourself from getting common colds this winter.
Take them on board and practice healthy habits this season!
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Now you know the tricks and hacks on how to prevent a cold, check out our guide on The Ultimate List Of Gift Wrap Hacks For Christmas.