Five Tips for Dealing with Fall Colds

Now that fall weather is here, you may be starting to worry about getting a cold. Colds tend to be more common as the seasons change. Here is some advice for what you can do to prevent a fall cold.

Wash Your Hands

The main way colds spread is from someone sneezing or coughing into their hands and not washing them. Regular hand washing is the best way to prevent viruses from getting from your hands to inside your body. Plus, if you’re sick, washing your hands often helps stop you from passing your cold onto someone else.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water helps your body function as it should. When your body is working at its best, it’s better at fighting off infections.┬áIn the summer, you likely feel hot and therefore remember to drink plenty of water. This may not happen in the fall, but it’s still important that you stay hydrated.

Exercise

There is evidence that shows that exercising regularly can help prevent colds. Regular exercise strengthens the body’s immune system, which could help you fight off colds. While it’s tempting to cuddle up on the couch under a blanket when the weather starts to get cold, it is better for your health to remain active and exercise regularly.

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy food can help you avoid getting sick. Make sure that you eat a variety of foods from all food groups, including lean protein, healthy fats, whole grains, fruit, and vegetables.

Get Enough Sleep

Studies have shown that people who get less than seven hours of sleep at night are three times more likely to catch a cold than those who get eight or more. This is likely because a lack of sleep can lead to compromised immune function, making it easier to get sick. Make sure to get enough sleep each night by establishing a routine, avoiding alcohol and caffeine as much as possible (especially at night), staying away from screens before bedtime, and sleeping in a dark and comfortable room.

Is it a Cold or Allergies?

Sometimes people confuse fall allergies for a cold. However, while some of the symptoms are similar, there are certainly differences. A cold usually lasts a couple of days to two weeks in length, while allergy symptoms could appear for several months, as long as you are in contact with an allergy trigger (and for a short time after).

If you have a cough, experience aches, or have a fever, you likely have a cold. However, if you have watery or itchy eyes, it’s likely allergies. Sneezing, sniffling, and a stuffy nose can be symptoms of both.

See your doctor if you believe you are showing allergy symptoms.

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