When it comes to the flu, your best defense is to be vaccinated.
But keeping colds at bay isn’t always easy. Michael Benninger, MD, and the chair of Cleveland Clinic’s Head and Neck Institute, was featured on Everyday Health to explain how you can decrease your chances of catching a cold.
Here’s what he recommends:
1. Wash your hands
Washing your hands frequently helps kill any virus or bacteria you may pick up during the day. You should also avoid touching your mouth or eyes with your hands as much as possible.
2. Get plenty of rest
Adequate rest is especially important this time of year to keep your immune system at peak performance.
3. Eat healthy
A healthy diet will provide you will all of the vitamins and minerals you need to build a strong immune system.
Studies have shown people who exercise routinely contract fewer colds than those who don’t exercise.
5. Consider zinc lozenges
These are worth a try if you feel a cold coming on. “They bind to the viral particles and help prevent some of the replication of the virus,” says Dr. Benninger. “They won’t prevent you from getting a cold, but they may make your cold less severe and last not quite as long.”
Your doctor may also prescribe the use of an intra-nasal steroid spray to decrease the effects of a cold, says Dr. Benninger.