For many, the cough and cold season starts the moment weather shifts from warm to cold or cold to warm. Many who have allergic rhinitis say that the shift is tougher for them because it often starts out with a flare-up and then eventually morphs into an official cough and cold. Some health professionals say that this may partly be caused by a burdened immune system.
With the weather starting to shift soon, for sure, a lot of people will be dealing with a cold, which will then be followed by a cough. Fortunately, if you don’t want to become one of them, there are effective medicines available. But more importantly, there are proven effective steps that you can take to avoid experiencing a full-blown bout of cold and cough.
Here are five steps you can follow:
Step 1: Keep your mouth clean
Various studies suggest that maintaining good oral health is an effective method of preventing everything from the common cough and cold to flu and even pneumonia. According to the best dental clinic in Dubai, regular brushing and flossing and using an antibacterial mouthwash are all helpful in managing bacteria that increase the risk of contracting diseases.
And if you are already dealing with the common cold, staying on top of oral health is even more important because a cold can create a dry mouth, which is the perfect environment for bacteria and germs to breed, and cause bad breath.
Extra tip: After a bout of cough and cold, change your toothbrush. According to the American Dental Association, it is crucial to replace your toothbrush after getting sick to avoid reinfection, which is a common occurrence when you have a weakened immune system.
Step 2: Maintain warm body temperature
Warmth is a known preventative element for cough and cold. This is why health experts advise consuming hot soups and teas to keep your immunity up. Studies reveal that a cold temperature can affect the immune system. Therefore, when the cold virus is floating around, you should make sure that your body is always warm.
One thing you can do is bundle up, especially if you live in a place that gets seriously cold in the autumn and winter. Wear a coat and a scarf. A Yale study says that a scarf worn around the neck and covering the nose is effective in protecting the body from the rhinovirus. The virus replicates faster in the colder environment of the nasal cavity. Therefore, you should keep your nose warm.
Another way to stay warm is by drinking warm to hot green tea because not only will this warm your body, but green tea is also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can boost the immune system.
Consider a hot soak as well, especially if you feel a lot of tension knots building up around your chest, neck, back, and shoulders. Add some eucalyptus oil and Epsom salts to relax your respiratory system.
Step 3: Stay hydrated
Drinking a healthy amount of water is also a great way to keep the cold virus at bay. It contributes to a healthier mouth and immune system by washing away toxins. Water is highly effective in aiding the immune system by controlling cold symptoms.
Likewise, when you already have a cold, water can work alongside your cough and cold medicine to loosen mucus or reduce congestion.
Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to fully enjoy its wellness boosting benefits.
Step 4: Massage your body with warming oils or vapor rub
Massage has long been known to improve health and well-being. During the cold and cough season, it works both as a preventative treatment and cure. One great thing about massage that is it helps with lymph drainage, which is crucial when you want to fight a cold.
It’s important to note that the kind of massage to perform when you want to prevent or fight a cold is just a light one (intended to spread warming oils or a mentholated ointment or vapor rub), and bring physical relief from the usual discomforts of having a cold. A full-body massage is not advised because it may actually increase the symptoms and make you feel worse.
The best places for some kneading action with a warming oil or ointment are the chest, back, shoulders, the nape, hands, and feet (and cover your feet with socks after).
Step 5: Sweat it out
When you feel a cold coming, you should consider sweating it out. Jogging and hot yoga work well for a lot of people. Meanwhile, others make sure to not skip on full workout sessions even when they’re starting to get the sniffles.
Exercise can fully activate your immune system. Additionally, it will help you dispel toxins from your body that can make you more prone to colds and cough. What’s more, if you’re feeling congested, heavier physical activities can temporarily relieve that by opening your nasal passages.
Fitness experts advise, though, that if you intend to work out like you normally do when you feel like you’ll be getting a cold, it’s important to stay hydrated. Water is good, but you may actually need more electrolytes, so consider Pocari Sweat or Gatorade.
Experiencing a Cough and Cold Is No Light Matter
Some folks think that coughs and colds will naturally go away. At times, that happens, but usually for people with good health. However, for those with underlying medical issues, these can become a trigger for a flare-up. But, whether or not you are healthy or immunocompromised, it’s a must to take preventative steps, such as those shared above.
And if preventative methods only delayed the onset, take appropriate medication right away. Take a cough expectorant for a chesty cough to thin out the mucus that makes it difficult to breathe.
Some formulations not only do that, but they also suppress cough so you can have 24-hour relief. Taking this medicine is ideal, especially if you don’t want to slow down and miss work or school. It will even help you get enough sleep, which will allow you to recover faster from the your cold and cough.