As I'm writing this I actually have a nasty cold, and I'm wishing I had followed my own advice and tried some of these ways to avoid a cold this winter! Whilst these may not be completely fool-proof, they will help keep colds at bay and get rid of them quickly if you do get struck down by a nasty bug, so here are 7 ways to avoid a cold this winter.
1 Eat Your Greens
It's not just green vegetables that will help tackle a cold and keep your body healthy - eating brightly colored fruit and vegetables is one of the best ways to avoid a cold this winter. Peppers, sweet potatoes and citrus fruits are all loaded with antioxidants and Vitamin C to blast that cold before it takes hold!
2 Gallic Flavorings
It's no secret that French cooking makes use of plenty of onions and garlic, and these two ingredients can actually help boost your immune system, preventing colds at any time of year. Add a bulb of garlic to bolognese sauce or include plenty of onions in your tuna mayo to keep your body fighting fit.
3 Keep Your Feet Warm
Research shows that keeping your extremities warm and cozy can help to prevent colds and flu. Invest in some cozy slippers or slipper socks to prevent your feet from getting cold and hopefully you should avoid a cold this winter!
4 Relax and Unwind
Stress can lower your body's defences, meaning a cold is more likely to strike. Learn to relax - maybe run a hot bath, meditate or take time out to read after work. By relaxing and looking after yourself, you'll give your body time to recover from stress, which means your immune system will be able to fend off winter bugs better.
5 Get Your Eight Hours
Whilst some of us need more than 8 hours sleep a night and some people need slightly less, getting a good night's sleep can help your body to fight off a cold. If you are struck down by one, you'll recover faster if you get a good night's sleep.
6 Savour the Spices
Spicy food is great not only for preventing colds but for getting rid of them. Thai soup with lemongrass and chili is a fantastic way to blast a cold, or stick to Indian curries - lentil dahl with its potent blend of spices is not only great to tackle colds and flu, it's healthy too! Add some extra onions, garlic and chili and your cold will be long gone.
7 Shake up Your Exercise Routine
Exercising boosts your metabolism, helps banish anxiety and depression and can also help your immune system to stay healthy. Whilst you should give exercising a rest if you're struck down with a cold or flu, regular exercise is one of the best ways to stay fit and healthy, so you're less likely to come under attack from dreaded winter bugs. And if you do get ill, you'll make a faster recovery if your body is fit and healthy.
By following these tips, you can reduce your chances of nasty colds and flu this year - stay active, fit and healthy and hopefully there will be no need for giant boxes of tissues and cough medicine in 2014! What are your secrets for preventing or getting over a cold?