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Old 09.10.2010, 11:37
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How to catch a cold


Kaarsten - Fotolia.com

The summer is over. Put away the sun screen and brace yourself for the raft of viruses coming your way. Here are a few scenarios to make you better appreciate how you'll catch a cold.

For starters, don't wash your hands.
Take public transport, open doors, shake hands and then, when you're about to tuck into your sandwich, just think "Nah, it's fine, I'll just wipe my hands on my shirt and that'll do".
Try to be around people who are unwell, especially those who sneeze directly at you, or even those who just sneeze into their hand. Public transport is a great place, but your place of work will do just fine.
Make sure you cut the hours of sleep you get. Eight hours is for wimps. There is always something on the telly, and failing that, you can surf the web for medical advice.
Had some fish and fruit during your beach holiday you say? Ah well, feel free to tuck straight back into those yummy meals full of saturated and hydrogenated fats. A healthy, nutritionally balanced diet is boring. Go for the burger and chips, and brace yourself for the cold.
So you played some paddle tennis on the beach? Well done, take the rest of the year off. Your immune system should be plenty strong to handle any virus that comes your way.
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If sarcasm doesn't really work for you and you prefer a more direct approach, here are our tips on how to skip a cold:
  • Avoid people who are unwell. If they sneeze, ask them to cover their mouth with a disposable tissue. If they're a colleague at work, ask them to go home until they're well.
  • Wash you hands all the time with disinfectant soap and hot water. Ask those around you to do so as well. Use disinfectant spray at home on any surfaces which might get exposed to a virus. Don't forget to clean the doorknobs.
  • Eat healthy. Your immune system will be boosted by a diet that gets enough protein through beans, lentils and fish. Oily fish, nuts and seeds will give you essential fats, which are also good for you. Try to get five portions of fruit and vegetables, and include whole grain foods like brown rice in your diet. Stay away from refined foods.
  • Sleep. A restful eight hours will ensure that your body is better able to fend off and fight infection. To get a good night's sleep avoid eating late, and caffeine and alcohol before bed. Make sure that your bedroom is a comfortable and relaxing place to sleep.
  • Exercise. Three times a week or more do something that makes you sweat. Cardiovascular activities like running, brisk walking or aerobics will do fine. If you're feeling adventurous, you can do some weights. Exercise will boost your immune system, which will make it more resistant to a cold, and quicker to recover as well.
  • Medicate. Yes, if all else fails, your local pharmacy is stacked full of over the counter products to manage colds. Your pharmacist can advise you, as can your GP.
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