6 simple ways to prevent the common cold

Sunrise Senior Living  |  February 6, 2017

There's a reason it's called the "common" cold.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are millions of cases of this virus annually, and adults catch it two to three times every year on average. Thankfully, it's not too serious and it typically takes about 7 to 10 days to recover. If your immune system is weak, however, and you catch a cold, you may be more likely to develop pneumonia or other critical conditions.

There may not be a cure for this illness, but there are certainly precautionary measures you can take to help ensure you're at your healthiest all year long. Here are a few simple remedies for preventing the common cold:

1. Wash your hands regularly
Viruses that cause the common cold thrive on your hands, so make sure to wash them regularly - and properly. Lather up the soap for at least 20 seconds and then rinse your hands well. Do this each time you use the restroom, handle food and more if you feel it's necessary.

"The virus can enter the body through your eyes, nose and mouth."

2. Don't touch your face
As stated earlier, the common cold virus can live on your hands, so avoid touching your face. It can enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth.

3. Use disposable items around the house
To avoid the spread of germs in your household, Medicinenet.com recommends using disposable items when someone in your family is feeling under the weather. Plastic cups, plates and utensils can be inexpensive, and certainly worth it, if it means preventing the sickness.

4. Keep your home clean
Keeping your home tidy won't only make the space look better - it'll help you feel better, too. Make it a point to regularly sanitize your household surfaces, like the door knobs, countertops, sinks and items like the remote control, telephones and keyboards. This will lessen the spread of harmful viruses.

Keeping your counter tops sanitized will reduce the spread of bacteria.Keeping your counter tops sanitized will reduce the spread of viruses.

5. Get plenty of rest
When you don't get a good night's sleep, you're not giving your body enough time to rest and recharge for the day. This has an impact on the way your immune system runs, ultimately keeping it from working at its best when viruses invade. To best prevent the common cold, get at least 7 to 9 hours of rest every night, as advised by the National Sleep Foundation, for older adults.

6. Make smart lifestyle choices
Your overall health and well-being is a result of the decisions you make. To help avoid developing any illnesses you must decide to make healthier lifestyle choices. Mayo Clinic suggests eating a well-balanced diet, managing your stress properly and exercising regularly. This will keep your defense system in top shape and reduce your chances of feeling ill.

Remember: If your cold lasts longer than 10 days, you need to schedule an appointment with the doctor.

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