Nothing a good night’s rest can’t fix, so make sure to sleep for at least 7 hours straight. Scientific studies have proven that you have three times more chance of falling sick if you sleep less than 7 hours a night. People who sleep badly or wake up several times during the night are even up to five times more likely to catch a cold. Conclusion? Your immune system just performs better when the body is well-rested.
People who wash their hands five times a day reduce the chance of catching a cold by 45 percent. Therefore wash your hands as often as possible. Water will do, but we recommend you to use soap because this will make you automatically rinse your hands better. Always wash both the palm and back of your hands and don’t forget the areas in between your fingers and under the nails. The whole process should at least take 20 seconds in total.
As colds are most commonly spread through contaminated door handles and toilet seats, it’s important to clean them as much as possible. After every visit to the toilet, go wash your hands and afterwards use a paper towel to open the door.
Regular physical exercise can halve the risk of catching a cold. Research has shown that 20 to 40 minutes of exercise strengthen the immune system. Every workout raises immune cell activity, causing them to circulate faster through the body where they chase off viruses and bacteria. Mind however not to overdo it. More than 90 minutes of exercise will only weaken your immune system.
Air your home
Regularly open your windows and air the rooms where you spend most of your time. The cold fresh air will greatly reduce the risk of catching a cold.
Be positive and avoid stress
Researchers have found that happy, enthusiastic people don’t get a cold as easily as negative and pessimistic people. Stress uses up a lot of energy and exhausts the immune system.
Enjoy the sunshine
As vitamin D protects the upper airway and we can only get it from exposure to sunlight (or vitamin D fortified foods), it is important to have a 15 minute daily walk in open air. This daily dose of vitamin D will activate antibiotic components in the body and increase your resistance to common cold and other diseases.
Drink hot drinks and avoid alcohol
Instead of drinking alcohol, go for fruit infusions or chamomile tea. The latter will give your immune system a little boost and the warmth helps to free up the sinuses.
A balanced diet will make you less prone to falling sick. One daily portion of yogurt alone will reduce chances of catching a cold by 25 percent. Garlic also helps for a quick recovery, while salmon and leafy greens like spinach strengthen the immune system. Jalapeno and cayenne peppers contain more vitamin C than one glass of orange juice.
Don’t sneeze into your hands, as it will allow bacteria to spread easily from hands to other hands and objects. It’s better to sneeze into your sleeve instead. Did you know that one sneezing fit in a public space can infect no less than 150 other people via 100 000 microscopic water drops?