With the weather getting colder and colder by day, there is the chance of catching a cold or flu. No one likes the sore muscles, runny nose and the fever. We all want to avoid cold and flu since it can keep you in bed for days, unable to do anything.
Cold and flu have very similar symptoms and it can be tricky to identify which one you’re suffering from.
They are both respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. The main difference between cold and flu is the intensity of the symptoms: cold has milder symptoms. Also, depending
It’s important to be able to tell the difference and to go to the doctor to ask for further assistance in case you fear you might have caught the flu. Last, but not least there is the flu vaccine that can be done each year to prevent the chances of getting flu. Old people, children and pregnant women are more exposed and it’s recommended to them to get the vaccine as a priority.
Drink Fluids (Tea and Honey)
My Mum always tells me to drink more tea during cold weather to keep me warm and prevent the cold to install. The lack of fluids in your body can affect your sinuses. Drink more fluids to help you sinuses drain better.
Any fluid will do: tea, water, soup or juices will hydrate your body and give it some extra vitamins and nutrients. But remember, all have to be natural – especially the juices. Stay away from the store-brought juices, since they are usually full of sugar.
For a blocked nose I love to drink some peppermint tea. The fresh, spicy smell of the tea can help a blocked nose. If you have a sore throat, have some honey. Either add some in your tea (after the tea gets around 40 degrees C) or have a couple of teaspoons on their own. Honey is one of the oldest remedies for sore throats and it has antibacterial properties. A recent study suggested that due to these properties, honey could be considered an antibiotic too.
In this case, alcohol does not count as a fluid! Avoid it under any circumstances since it dehydrates you, affects your sleep and much more.
Do you remember how often your Mum told you to get a hat or an extra coat since it’s cold outside and you will catch a cold? If I would have got a penny every single time she said that… well, everyone would be rich by now.
Cold temperatures affect the body in many ways is causing different types of distress, including weakening our immune systems. Which means higher chances for your body to crash easier in front of a
So get that pair of fluffy socks on.
So, yes, Mum was ALWAYS right.
Stay Away From Germs
Germs are everywhere, especially on things like lifts buttons, buses, door handles and so on. Things that are often used by lots of people are more likely to present a source of infection.
While you can’t isolate yourself in a bubble, you can remove some of the germs from the most common areas:
- wash your hands when you go inside
- use antibacterial gel if you don’t have quick access to soap and water
- disinfect the most dirty things you touch a lot: your phone, keyboard, mouse and desk
Don’t go germ-crazy, of course. But paying a little extra attention can be very helpful. Be mindful, not crazy.
Moderate exercise improves blood flow, thus
Studies show that even low levels of aerobics can help boost your immune system. So, if you’re a lazy ass like me – no worries, you don’t have to sweat too much at the gym to make it worth.
You may wonder what stress has to do with cold.
When we go through unnecessary stressful periods of time, our body releases a hormone called cortisol – also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol is linked to affecting the memory, digestion and the overall defense system of
So, try not to stress too much, sleep at least 7 hours per night, and have regular meals to lower your stress levels.
Ever since I read Matt Walker’s book – Why We Sleep – I’m never, ever underestimating the power of good sleep and sleep in general.
Even in his TED talk, Matt Walker explains how only one single night of deprived sleep can affect our immune systems. After only one night of bad sleep, our natural killer cells won’t perform as good as they would after a good night sleep. These killer cells are protecting us from different bad cells (like cancerous cells) by destroying them. If we don’t sleep enough, these cells won’t be able to protect us as good as they can, thus raising the change of getting viral infection.
It’s also proven than sleep helps our bodies to heal – that’s why you are so sleepy when you don’t feel well. Your body wants to put you to sleep, so he can do its job.
These are probably the basic tips you’ll hear from everyone – including your doctor. They are so simple, that most of us ignore them. The deep implications of sleep, stress and diet are often overlooked.
I truly hope this article gave you a better perspective of how and why we should actually listen to the good old tips to avoid cold and flu.
Stay healthy and happy!
Article last updated on: 16.09.2019