1) Don’t rub your eyes
Whether you think you are a holding a winning lottery ticket or Gisele Bundchen has just strolled into your spinning class. Whatever you do don’t rub your peepers. According to the NHS, a duct links the eyes and the nasal cavity, and any virus can easily transfer from your eyes to your nose and throat and cause an infection.
2) Keep it clean
Do I really need to say it? The single best way to beat off bugs is to wash your hands thoroughly and regularly. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend you scrub your digits for around 20 seconds – as long as it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice. In your head, though, not out loud.
Don’t get us wrong, it’s great to have some Vitamin C in your system mopping up damaging free radicals, but it won’t do anything to prevent or lessen the effects of a cold. Instead, load up on Vitamin D, because a study published in the Archives Of Internal Medicine reported that people with a Vitamin D deficiency are more vulnerable to colds. You get it from sunshine and it’s found in some fish, but it’s worth popping a pill to get a decent daily dose.
4) Get hot and steamy
Not in bed – at your gym. Taking a sauna can halve your risk of picking up a nasty bug, according to an Australian study. Over a six-month period it found that subjects taking a sauna twice a week experienced significantly fewer incidences of common cold symptoms compared to a control group who didn’t get hot under the collar.
5) Then have a cold shower
An ice-cold shower increases the number of white cells in your blood, whose main responsibility is to seek and destroy any nasty invaders. Research from the Thrombosis Research Institute in London says that this spike is caused by your body’s metabolism rate, which increases in an attempt to warm you up.
6) Outrun the bugs
there’s more to exercise than beating your 10K PB or getting six-pack. Regularly working out will also keep your immune system firing on all fronts. A US study found that over the course of three months, people who did little or no exercise fell ill almost twice as often as those who exercised five times per week.
As well as making you grumpy, getting less than seven hours of shut-eye a night makes you three times more likely to succumb to a cold compared with those getting eight hours or more, according to American research. But quality is more important than quantity; if you spend just eight percent of the time you are supposed to be sleeping awake, your risk of getting a cold increases fivefold.
8) Wrap up warm
Your mum lied – going outside with wet hair will not result in an instant cold. But being exposed to cold temperatures can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system. A study published in the International Journal of Tuberculosis And Lung Disease conducted that any lowering of your core body temperature makes you more susceptible to infections.
if you’ve already succumbed to the lurgy, all is not lost -the old wives were right. The NHS says that there is evidence to suggest that there may be some truth in the belief that eating chicken soup helps to relieve the symptoms of a cold. That’s thought to be because it contains immune-boosting protein, keeps you hydrated and has anti-inflammatory properties.