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8 Important Tips to Avoid a Cold

Updated on April 3, 2017
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Audrey Hunt's passion for nutrition began the day she was diagnosed with Diabetes. She's a vegetarian and practices alternative medicine.

The Common Cold

The positive side of the common cold is:  Toxins are released during a cold.
The positive side of the common cold is: Toxins are released during a cold. | Source

Prevention Tips For Warding Off A Cold

The common cold is most people's curse. Along with a stuffy nose and loss of energy we may be threatened with a painful sore throat. Fortunately it may be possible to ward off not only the common cold, with accompanying sore throat, but even certain types of the flu.

The following tips can help to protect you from coming down with a bad cold:

1. Wash, wash, wash your hands. If I'm paranoid about anything it would be washing my busy little hands. And I don't mean holding them under a few drips of running water and leaving it at that.

When I wash these hands of mine I suds up like mad, make sure the water is hot, and scrub while I sing through "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" or "Mary Had A Little Lamb" two or three times. I finish with a quick dry using a clean towel, paper towel, or hand dryer found in most public bathrooms. If a door knob is staring at me upon leaving the room I use a piece of toilet tissue, a paper towel, or if I have to, the tail-end of my shirt to protect my hands from picking up more germs.

2. Drinking Water. It is so very important to stay hydrated. Concentrate on drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. It's essential to wash out the harmful toxins present in the body. By the time you feel thirsty you're most likely already dehydrated. We usually don't feel the urge to drink water in the rainy season so be alert and if you have to, keep a record. Dehydration affects the proper functioning of our body.

3. Nutrition. Regardless of how many times you read about the benefits of eating a healthy diet it bears repeating. Stuff yourself with those veggies, fruits, fish, legumes and avoid red meat (or at least limit your servings) as well as all the tempting sugary criminals and high fats. Read up on the benefits of virgin olive oil, garlic, kale, broccoli and other super foods.

4. Supplements. With busy schedules, hectic activities, or being a fast-food junkie, sometimes our meal planning suffers and we just don't get enough vitamins and minerals needed to build a healthy immune system. This is where supplements can help. It's really tough to get all the nutrients you need from food. Check with your doctor first before adding supplements to your diet, especially if you're on medication.

How Much Water Should I Drink?

We should be drinking one-half of our body weight in ounces.
We should be drinking one-half of our body weight in ounces. | Source

Sea Salt or Regular Salt?

Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or  from saltwater lakes while regular salt comes from underground mines.
Sea salt is produced through evaporation of ocean water or from saltwater lakes while regular salt comes from underground mines. | Source

When You Feel That Tickle In Your Throat Coming On

As soon as that familiar tickle announces itself:

5. Reach for the nasal saline spray. This combination of salt and water washes out germs that linger around waiting for your immune system to become exhausted so they can attack you. When you first feel the slightest tickle in your throat you are being alerted that drainage is beginning. By flushing your nasal passages you are preventing the mucus from getting to thick and hopefully side-tracking those germs.

(Turn your head side-to-side and tilt your face towards the ceiling to reach all areas.)

6. Gargle with warm salt water. I prefer using sea salt but regular salt is just as effective. Make sure your water is good and warm but not hot. I also sometimes add a little baking soda. Add 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. soda to 1 pint of very warm water. Stir and gargle. Adding cayenne pepper to the mix will usually stop soreness in it's tracks.

Swishing this same concoction also washes away any germs that can lodge in the back of your mouth. It also stops those painful little canker sores . . . and quick.

Popeye Was Right. Eat Your Spinach

A delicious spinach salad with fresh strawberries tossed with sunflower seeds and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle a little strawberry - virgin olive oil to add flavor to the spinach leaves.
A delicious spinach salad with fresh strawberries tossed with sunflower seeds and crumbled goat cheese. Drizzle a little strawberry - virgin olive oil to add flavor to the spinach leaves. | Source

Take Extra Vitamin C To Prevent A Sore Throat

When you begin to feel run-down help yourself to extra doses of vitamin C.  Avoid sweets and nourish yourself with nutritious foods.
When you begin to feel run-down help yourself to extra doses of vitamin C. Avoid sweets and nourish yourself with nutritious foods. | Source

7. During the holidays double up on everything you regularly take (vitamin C, fluids, veggies and all that good stuff) to build up your immune system.

The reason cold and flu symptoms show up around the Christmas season is because our immune system is weakened to the point that any virus can attack you. We over-eat, party, shop, get less sleep and have more stress. This lowers our immune system.

8. Keep your colon clean. Did you know that if your colon is clean you're less likely to get sick? Most problems we have with illness are a result of a toxic colon. With a clean colon your body absorbs more nutrients from your food and supplements.

Keep your head and ears covered to keep out the cold.
Keep your head and ears covered to keep out the cold. | Source

Be Sure to Cover These Areas of Your Body

I remember what my mother would tell me when I was little and wanted to play outside during cold weather. " Put on your coat and don't forget your hat!" I heard this so often it used to make me mad. But now I've come to realize just how important her advice was. We lose about 40% of our body heat through the head alone.

Your hands and feet need protection too. These areas lose as much as 30% of your body heat. So it's not enough just to wear a warm coat or jacket. Pay attention to your hands, feet and head.


A Word About Strep Throat

If your throat is pretty darn sore and you're running a fever over 101 F you may have strep throat. Also check for white patches in the back of the throat. Your lymph nodes may also be swollen and somewhat tender when you have strep throat.

With a regular sore throat the pain most likely goes away after a few days. But with strep the throat hurts worse and can last longer. You may also lose your appetite or even be nauseated.

Strep throat is caused by an infection called Streptococcus. Be sure to see a doctor if you suspect strep throat. If you let it go without treatment this infection can affect your organs including your heart. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat a painful strep infection.

Tips For Singers And Professional Speakers

If singing and speaking are your lively hood you have a huge responsibility to protect your voice and feed your body a nutritious diet. During cold and flu season be especially proactive when it comes to your health. Review these tips to help save your voice:

  • Do not ask more of your voice than it can bear. Too much song-singing can be harmful. It taxes the voice adding strain and even abuse.
  • Limit your singing to a comfortable range. Pushing the voice to sing too high or too low causes damage to the vocal bands.
  • Use only diaphragmatic breathing. This applies to speakers as well as singers. Avoid at all cost chest breathing. Breathing from just the chest area prevents the much-needed support to sustain tones and lyrics. Speakers and singers often experience hoarseness when substituting chest breathing for diaphragmatic breathing.
  • Rest your voice when ill. Your vocal organs need time to recuperate during and after an illness.
  • Avoid, above all, sudden changes in temperature. This includes going from a warm cozy room into the cold outdoors. Bundle up and protect your head, ears and throat. Air conditioning can also pose problems

In Conclusion . . .

A cold is natures way of flushing toxins from your system. It actually "cleans house." When your body is very toxic it lowers your resistance making you vulnerable to all sorts of viruses and infections.A person with a cold is most contagious during the first 2 - 3 days.

And do you realize that when we experience criticism or a negative attitude from people around us we open ourselves up to getting sick or even acquiring worse problems? So surround yourself with compassionate, positive, caring people when you aren't feeling well.

Keep in mind that your body is sick and not your brain. So even though you feel like crap you will heal faster by repeating positive affirmations and completely ignore negativity of any kind..

Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Encourage humor from others and find it however you can while you're sick. Remember the illness is usually temporary so do the best you can to get through each day.

Good health to you and thanks for being here.

Audrey Hunt

© 2016 Audrey Hunt

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    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Awwww my sweet friend Audrey...The only thing I hate more than a sore throat is an ear ache! and please, God forbid we have both at once! Talk about feeling miserable.

      Well, you did a superb job of offering up the best things to do! I thought I might have something to add here, but it looks like you get the prize today for being a great self-help Dr.!! We really can make our symptoms less severe if we try.

      I always say, if it's nothing harmful to us, what can it hurt to "try" everything? Hope you stay healthy, girlfriend! Peace, Paula

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Dear, amazing, out-standing Paula. I could keep adding to this list of your descriptions but it's an endless list. I'M OVER-THE-MOON to see you here and read your comments.

      And yes, you are right - nothing is as painful as an earache. I forgot about this giant of all curses.

      I've been down with a virus for 6 whole weeks. Even hospitalized for three days. Ugh! Was told that my old age is responsible for this bug hanging on. I slapped the doctor. :)

      Love you my precious friend. Let's stay well now! Hugs and good thoughts.

      Audrey

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 7 months ago from United States

      Thank you so much my friend for these great tips in preventing colds. I suffer a lot with them in late Fall and early Winter. These tips will help. Blessings. whonu

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 7 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      How DARE your Dr!! Old age?? You have grounds to sue! LOL

      ....That's a nasty nasty virus....6 weeks is awful. The last time I was that sick for that long was exactly 8 yrs. ago. It's etched in my mind forever. I called it my creeping virus because it spent one week in my head (sinuses) one week in my throat, then my ears....then my chest, until finally after weeks it landed in my gut.

      I swear it was a LIVE creature making a slow death crawl thru my body! I feel for you!

      Sending you thoughts of wellness & healing!

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 7 months ago from New Delhi, India

      First of all I am so happy to know that you are fine now ! Cold and flu are the most painful and irritating problems we all face at some time or the other. Sometimes it is so stubborn that we have to take so many medicines and need so much medical attention.

      You have some very useful suggestions here and thanks for making people aware.

      It was a matter of great concern when you were down with flu and now I am so happy that you have recovered. Take care!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      whonunuwho

      Here's hoping you'll get through these seasons without suffering the terrible effects of a miserable cold. So happy to know these tips will be useful for you. Wishing you good health and happiness now and always.

      ChitrangadaSharan

      Thank you so much for your good wishes during my long illness. It feels good to be back and I appreciate your kind comments during my recovery. None of the medicines helped me which is one reason I ended up in the hospital.

      This bug was a stubborn one. Stay well my dear friend and much happiness to you.

      Thank you

      Audrey

      Paula

      Love your comments! You certainly went through a terrible ordeal 8 years ago. When it's that bad it seems like you should never have to get sick again. Let's hope you don't!

      Thank you dear friend for your thoughts of wellness and healing as I continue to recover from this bug from hell!

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      whonunuwho

      Here's hoping you'll get through these seasons without suffering the terrible effects of a miserable cold. So happy to know these tips will be useful for you. Wishing you good health and happiness now and always.

      ChitrangadaSharan

      Thank you so much for your good wishes during my long illness. It feels good to be back and I appreciate your kind comments during my recovery. None of the medicines helped me which is one reason I ended up in the hospital.

      This bug was a stubborn one. Stay well my dear friend and much happiness to you.

      Thank you

      Audrey

      Paula

      Love your comments! You certainly went through a terrible ordeal 8 years ago. When it's that bad it seems like you should never have to get sick again. Let's hope you don't!

      Thank you dear friend for your thoughts of wellness and healing as I continue to recover from this bug from hell!

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 7 months ago from USA

      Thank you for the tips from your own unfortunate experience. You am glad to know you have recovered. I swear by saline water too in the form of the neti. Keep singing!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 7 months ago from sunny Florida

      Great tips and a great time to share this....when I was still teaching the 'cold' was not a pleasant thing in the classroom. We took great pains to observe good health habits with much hand washing in order. Thank you so much for sharing this....

      Angels are on the way to you this morning. ps shared

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At some point, maybe mid-thirties, I reached a point where I don't get sick. I can't tell you the last cold I had. Sore throat? What's that? LOL My time is coming, dear friend.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 7 months ago from Southern Illinois

      You are spot-on about hand washing. It's a wonder that I still have skin on my hands. As a nursing student we were drilled daily how important it was to wash your hand's. I do not remember the last time I had a cold or sore throat. All of your suggestions are great and proven to be true. Drinking water is the most difficult for me, but I try.

    • Carb Diva profile image

      Linda Lum 7 months ago from Washington State, USA

      Audrey, all very good advice and something we need to be thinking about especially at this time of year. I am glad that you are recovered from your illness. The only thing you might add to your list of "do's" is to get a flu shot. I have been plagued with a sore throat for 18 months, and no one has yet to find the source. It's not allergies, not gastric, and (thank God) not cancer, but nevertheless it has robbed me of the pleasure of singing or even conversing with a group. The ENT's are baffled.

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 7 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Audrey - What a bunch of great advice. Drinking more water than you think you need is a very important fact people need to know.

      Good to know that you snapped back from your bout with cold/flu.

    • DreamerMeg profile image

      DreamerMeg 7 months ago from Northern Ireland

      Great advice, especially with winter kicking in!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      FlourishAnyway

      Thank you for your kind comments my friend. Today is the first time in 6 weeks that I'm beginning to feel better. What a nasty virus this has been!

      Appreciate your support and wishing you good health through the winter and beyond.

      Audrey

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 7 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      You go girl - I would have slapped that doctor too. :)

      Wonderful and timely post with a comprehensive list of how to protect our voices and more this winter.

      Love and thanks, Maria

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      pstraubie48

      Hello dear friend. A teacher is always at high risk for catching a cold. So many little ones being sent to school with runny noses and all. Thank you for adding your comments.

      Audrey

      billybuc

      I sure do envy you. The illness I've been suffering with doesn't involve cold symptoms except for the aching body. Two months and I'm still in the recovery mode. UGH!

      You must be a very good boy to go such a long time without a cold or sore throat. :)

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      Great advice, Audrey. I take Vitamin C every day, along with Biotin, B-Complex and D3. I'll double up on the Cs if I feel a sore throat coming on.

      Another treatment that helps ward off a cold is to drink ginger root tea. Simply slice the root, place in a pot of water and bring to a boil. At that point, remove the pot from the heat, cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a mug and add 1 teaspoon organic raw honey. Have several cups of the tea throughout the day. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory, settles the tummy and so much more. Honey is an anti-oxidant. The two combined are a powerhouse against germs and infection.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      always exploring

      I'm with you Ruby. I spend more time washing my hands than anything else :) And I, too, have to force the water. You're one lucky lady to have such a strong immune system. Keep it up!

      Carb Diva - I can't believe you've battled this sore throat for such a long time. I'm going through a similar experience with my flu-like symptoms. While in the hospital I was tested for everything possible. Doctors found nothing! So I've been diagnosed with an unknown virus. I'm still trying to recover and it's taking me forever. I'm going on my third month with about the same symptoms. So frustrating! Sure hope you will be back to normal very soon. I was due to have my flu shot the day I came down with this mysterious virus. Now I have to wait until I'm completely well.

      Thanks my friend.

      Audrey

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 7 months ago from Minnesota

      Great tips on keeping the common cold at bay. Loved your pictures too to bring home your points. I am so sorry to hear you learned the hard way about not drinking enough water. Thank you for sharing this article Audrey.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Mike

      Thanks so much for your visit. Just want you to know how very much I'm enjoying your book. Reading your story brought a smile and wonderful distraction to being sick for such a lengthy spell.

      Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

      Hugs,

      Audrey

      DreamerMeg

      Thanks so much for being here. Appreciate your comments.

      Maria

      I so appreciate your setting aside some time to read my hub. How I value you! Wishing you and yours a wonderful Thanksgiving making happy memories.

      Hugs,

      Audrey

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      bravewarrior

      Thanks so much for your tip about ginger root and organic raw honey. A powerhouse combination for sure. I recently added acidophilus & probiotic complex supplement for the 'gut.' I've recently come upon research stating that optimal health begins in the stomach.

      You take biotin. What is the benefit of biotin?

      Thanks Sha.

      Minnetonka Twin

      Hello my friend. Thanks for reading my hub and for your comments. I'm a bonifide water drinker now! I like the alkaline and electrolyte type but it can be a little pricey.

      Happy Thanksgiving!

      Audrey

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      Biotin is good for the skin, hair and nails. I've noticed that since I've been taking it, my lashes have grown fuller and longer. I was beginning to worry because age seemed to have made them appear short and thin. Now they're looking pretty good! I've always had strong nails, so I don't notice a difference there, but I'll take the rejuvenated eyelashes any day!

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 7 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thanks Sha. I could use help with my lashes so will add biotin to my list. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 6 months ago from The Caribbean

      Thanks, Audrey, for laying out these instructions so clearly to help us maintain our good health. Sore throats are no laughing matter. I like your advice to think positively even if we're sick. Healing takes place first in the mind.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 6 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      MsDora

      Yes, healing does begin in the mind. A positive attitude helps the healing to begin. Thank you.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 5 months ago from South Africa

      This is a striking perspective - "A cold is natures way of flushing toxins from your system. It actually "cleans house."

      Thanks for all these tips, Audrey! Keeping one's body healthy is quite a challenge.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 5 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Hi Martie,

      For me, keeping myself healthy and working on boosting my immune system, is a full time job. I have a friend who has never had a cold in her life. She eats junk food and abuses her body. Not fair!

      Thanks so much for taking time to visit me.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 months ago from Dubai

      Great tips to prevent cold and avoid a sore throat. I sometimes lose my voice when I have a bad cough and cold, thank you for sharing.

    • vocalcoach profile image
      Author

      Audrey Hunt 4 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      Thank you for commenting Vellur. Hopefully these tips will help the net time you have a cold (which I hope is never:)

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 6 weeks ago from North Texas

      Great information and advice!

      Will tell you that 4 years ago I was working with special needs children who often sneezed and coughed on me throughout the day, especially during the flu season. I was frequently out in the public where other people did the same. I was sick a lot, and then I decided to double up on my Vitamin C. I was already taking 500 mg of Vitamin C every day. So just for the flu season I started taking 1000 mg of Vitamin C every day in the form of 2 chewable tablets. I took them 12 hours apart. I have had no colds or flu for nearly 3 years. :) I hate being sick and so it has been so nice to skip the colds, etc.

    • vocalcoach profile image
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      Audrey Hunt 3 weeks ago from Nashville Tn.

      C E Clark

      My mother used to swear by vitamin C and I never saw her get sick. Thanks for sharing your story. Very helpful for all of us to hear.

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