When it comes to staying healthy, there are easy steps to take to preventing illness or disease. Despite these precautions, it’s only natural that we become ill with either the flu bug or the common cold. Since nobody wants their cold to turn into something that needs treatment from a health care professional, below are 5 ways to protect yourself from the common cold.
1. Avoid Close Contact With Others
Just like in the case of the pandemic, being in close contact with other people makes it easy for the cold virus to spread and make people sick. Even if the other individuals aren’t sick, or don’t feel as though they are falling ill, the incubation period for the common cold is 24 to 72 hours. After that is when they start showing symptoms of the common cold.
With the common cold, people become contagious around a day before the symptoms develop and generally remain contagious for about 5 to 7 days. Since people become contagious before symptoms present themselves, it’s simply easier to distance yourself even if they don’t appear to be ill.
2. Eat Right
You’ve either seen this behavior in a TV show/movie, have done it yourself, or have seen somebody else do it. They feel as though they are coming down with a cold or are getting sick and then they go out and buy packets of powdered vitamin C to put in their drinks. Prevention is better when it comes to preventing illness.
Did you know that 8 fl. oz. of orange juice gives you 125% of the daily recommended value of vitamin C? Other citrus fruits are high in vitamin C as well. There are other foods that boost the immune system as well. Eating right doesn’t have to be boring.
3. Clean Surroundings
It’s easy to overlook how a clean home or workspace goes a long way in preventing the spread of the common cold. How many people have touched that same door handle? How many of them have washed their hands in the last hour? How many people have sneezed into their hands and then touched the doorknob? Clean and disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched, and cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.
4. Good Health Habits
Apart from eating right, other good health habits include managing your stress, staying physically active, and getting a night of restful sleep. We are more susceptible to illnesses when we’re stressed. When we sleep, our immune system releases cytokines that help promote sleep. When we are ill or stressed, we need more cytokines.
5. Wash Those Hands
Washing your hands prevents germs from spreading. While hand sanitizer works too, soap and water kill more germs. You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Good Health Care Starts With You
We believe that while it’s important to routinely visit your health care professional, the truth that many people overlook is that good health care starts with themselves. Just like good maintenance on a vehicle prevents problems with the vehicle, taking care of yourself will prevent illnesses and other medical conditions that would otherwise occur. Other ways to protect yourself from the common cold is to remain hydrated and to wear a mask when out in public.
At Diamond Physicians, we also believe that individuals have the right to access quality and personalized health care. Not only are our treatments personalized, but we are a patient-centered group that strives for preventative and proactive health. If you’re tired of the impersonal, cookie-cutter approach to your health care, contact Diamond Physicians today.