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Staying Healthy During Cold and Cough Season

Staying Healthy During Cold and Cough Season

Cold and cough season is here, and it’s important to take precautions to stay healthy. Not only can getting sick lead to missing work or school, but it can also take a toll on your overall well-being and keep you from having fun. 

Let’s look at some practical tips for staying healthy during cold and cough season. We’ll cover ways to prevent getting sick, how to manage symptoms if you do get sick, and a solid game plan for maintaining good health during the winter months.

Prevention

Prevention is key when it comes to staying healthy during the cold and cough season. Taking certain steps can reduce your risk of getting sick and minimize the impact of any illnesses you contract. Don’t worry; they’re very simple to pull off. 

Handwashing

Handwashing is one of the best ways to stop germs from spreading, so it’s important to do it often, especially before you eat or make food, after you go to the bathroom, and after you blow your nose. To properly wash your hands, wet them with clean water, apply soap, and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, making sure to scrub all surfaces, including the wrists, fingers, and under the nails. Rinse your hands well and dry them with a clean towel or air dry. 

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are an important way to protect yourself from getting sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone get a flu shot every year, and certain people should also get vaccinated against pneumococcal disease, whooping cough, and other illnesses. Talk to your doctor to find out which vaccinations are recommended for you and when you should get them.

Exercise and a healthy diet

Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help boost your immune system, which can help protect you from getting sick. During the winter months, it can be hard to stay active and eat healthily, but there are ways to make it easier. Try to find fun indoor activities you enjoy, like dancing or yoga, and make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Symptom Management

If you end up getting sick during the cold and cough season, it’s important to have a plan to manage your symptoms. This can help you feel better faster and prevent your illness from worsening.

Common cold symptoms

Symptoms of a cold can include a runny or stuffy nose, a sore throat, sneezing, and coughing. To relieve symptoms, you can try over-the-counter medications, such as decongestants and pain relievers, and home remedies, such as drinking warm liquids and getting plenty of rest.

Cough

A variety of factors can cause coughing, including the common cold, the flu, and other illnesses. Treatment options can include over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrups and lozenges, and home remedies, such as drinking warm liquids and getting plenty of rest.

Influenza

Symptoms of the flu can include fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue, as well as a cough and sore throat. If you suspect you have the flu, you must see a doctor immediately. Antiviral drugs, over-the-counter pain relievers, and home remedies like resting and drinking water can all be used to treat the flu. It’s also important to stay home and avoid spreading the virus to others.

Practical Tips

While prevention and symptom management are important, you can also do many practical things to stay healthy during cold and cough season. By incorporating these tips into your daily routine, you can help protect yourself from getting sick and feeling better if you fall ill.

Boost your immune system

Some ways to boost your immune system include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

It’s also important not to smoke or drink too much alcohol and to find ways to deal with stress, like yoga, meditation, or a good old-fashioned game of bowling. 

How to avoid spreading germs

To avoid spreading germs, it’s important to practice good hand hygiene and avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth. It’s also important to stay home if you’re sick and to cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.

How to manage stress

Stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to getting sick. It’s important to manage stress through techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing. 

Finding activities you enjoy, like reading, listening to music, or spending time with friends and family, can also help reduce stress.

Final Thoughts

Cold and cough season can be a difficult time for many people, but by following the tips we’ve provided, you can take steps to prevent getting sick and manage symptoms if you get sick. 

Remember to practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated, maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine, manage stress, and stay home if you’re sick. Following these simple steps can help protect yourself and others during the cold and cough season. Our team of medical professionals believes your personal health is a big deal. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment so we can help. 

References:

UNICEF/WHO — Hand Hygeine (PDF)

CDC — Flu Season FAQ 2022-2023

NIH National Library of Medicine

CDC — Vaccination Resources

Mayo Clinic — Common Cold symptoms, Causes

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