ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Avoid Catching a Cold

Updated on September 28, 2018
Simon Lam profile image

Simon's background is in biomedical and health science. He also writes about fashion, nature, and photography.

Wash Your Hands Often and Don't Touch Your Face!

I've kept myself from catching a cold for over a hear and a half. This is in part because I wash my hands frequently, especially after the gym and coming home from public places. I don't ever touch my face, or if I need to I wash my hands first. I try to avoid those with colds. More importantly, I try to get regular exercise, eat right, reduce stress, and get enough sleep. These little strategies or tips have kept me from getting sick from a cold.

Staying Healthy

It has been nearly two years since I have been sick with a cold. That is my record so far. In the past, I've often gotten sick at least once a year. However, since the winter of 2017, I have not had a cold. Here I will give you tips on how to avoid getting sick with a cold this year. Tips that have helped me stay healthy and hopefully help you too!

Colds Are Caused by Viruses

Many viruses (including coronavirus, adenovirus and respiratory syncytial virus) can cause a cold, but in the majority of the cases, rhinoviruses are the main culprit. A cold virus can enter your body through your eyes, nose, and mouth. These viruses can spread via droplets in the air when a sick person sneezes, coughs, or talks. It may also spread by hand-to-hand contact, sharing contaminated things like utensils, towels, telephones. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth after being exposed to the virus, you might get sick.


Tip #1: Wash Your Hands Often

This is the number one tip to staying healthy. Thoroughly washing your hands with soap and lukewarm water will remove the cold-causing virus from your hands. Wash your hands often. Before you eat, wash them. After you exercise at the gym, wash them. After you come home from any public places, like the library, school, mall, theatre, etc, wash them. If you have to touch your nose, eyes or mouth, wash them first. I repeat wash your hands often.

I use a soap that has moisturizing ingredients like glycerin because I wash my hands so much. That way my hands don't dry out as much.

Wash Your Hands Often
Wash Your Hands Often | Source

Tip #2: Don't Touch Your Face

Whatever you do, do not touch your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth. If you do, there is a chance that you may have the cold virus on your hand and can transfer it to the openings on your face. If you need to touch your face, for instance because of an itch or to remove debris, wash your hands first before touching your face.

Don't Touch Your Face
Don't Touch Your Face | Source

Tip #3: Stay Away From Those With A Cold

If your family or friends have a cold, stay away from them. Sometimes it's hard to separate from family that you live with. Try your best to remove yourself from them. It's important that you do not pick up their virus.

When eating together, don't share food, utensils, glasses or dishes. Set aside separate utensils, dishware and glassware for the sick person. In the bathroom, get them to use their own towel, toothpaste and toothbrush. Set these items away from yours.

Avoid physical contact as viruses may spread via touching. If you shake hands with someone who is sick or come into contact with their face, go wash your hands.

Tip #4: Use Facial Tissue

If you have a family member who is sick, ask them to sneeze or cough into tissues. Then quickly discard the tissues, and tell them to wash their hands. Also, ask them to cough or sneeze into the bend of their elbow, to prevent spreading germs when they don't have a tissue handy.

Tip #5: Exercise

Getting regular exercise will help you stay healthy. Exercising helps contribute to general good health and likely to a healthy immune system. It may help more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows immune cells and substances to "move through the body freely and do their job efficiently." Those of us who exercise regularly, especially those who exercise daily, have fewer colds per year than those who don't exercise.


Exercise Regularly
Exercise Regularly | Source

Tip #6: Reduce Stress

Stress appears to depress the immune system. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is known to reduce inflammation, and decreases white blood cells. Reducing white blood cells can make us susceptible to infections. Thus, it's important to minimize stress. Take time to mediate, do yoga, listen to music, read, do art. Anything to help you calm down and relax.

Tip #6: Eat Healthy

Although evidence linking nutrition to immune function isn't well established, there are studies that show that malnutrition or micronutrient deficiencies are associated with infectious diseases or altered immune responses. Despite conclusive evidence of nutrition playing a role in immunity, it is advisable to maintain a well balanced diet to give your immune system all the nutrients it may need to function well. Make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables!

Tip #7: Get Enough Sleep

Sleep can affect your immune system. Specifically, lack of sleep can lower your immune system. "Studies show that people who don't get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus." Aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep!

Want to Learn More?

Common cold. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/common-cold/symptoms-causes/syc-20351605

Common Cold (Viral Rhinitis). 2014. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/common-cold-viral-rhinitis

How to boost your immune system. 2018. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Andrew Goliszek Ph.D. How Stress Affects the Immune System. 2014. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/how-the-mind-heals-the-body/201411/how-stress-affects-the-immune-system

Eric J. Olson, M.D. Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick? 2015. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Simon Lam profile imageAUTHOR

      Simon Lam 

      6 months ago

      Hi gs!

      Thank you for your comment! While soap doesn't kill germs, it helps lift them from your skin so that they can be rinsed/washed away. So it's best to use soap while washing your hands. I'm glad you found this article to be helpful. I wrote it hoping it would be useful for others.

      Take care!

    • profile image

      gs 

      6 months ago

      Hi Simon

      Just finished reading your article on

      "How to avoid catching a cold." I didn't realize how important it was to wash your hands regularly. Usually I just wash my hands with warm water after using the bathroom but did not realize you had to use soap to stop the cold virus from spreading. This was a very helpful article and very happy that you wrote about this subject. Take care.

    • Simon Lam profile imageAUTHOR

      Simon Lam 

      7 months ago

      Hi Cecil!

      Thank you for your comment! Yes, staying hydrated is important too! Our cells need water to function! Green tea may also be good in helping the immune system.

      Take care!

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 

      7 months ago from Osaka, Japan

      Great advice. There's one thing I didn't see, probably because it's so obvious: HYDRATE! Drink water.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)