Five tips to keep you safe from the miserable cold season.

By: Taren Vaughan

After months of all the beautiful weather we have had, cold and flu season has finally arrived. And people all over the country have begun to flood their neighborhood clinics and pharmacies left and right. Although not as debilitating as the flu can be, the common cold can still be a handful and rather annoying to deal with. So before that hacking cough and runny nose gets the best of you, here are some ways to fight them off:

Catch It Early

When it comes to successfully battling a cold, early detection is a must. If your throat is becoming scratchy or your nose is a little more irritated than usual, pick up some cold medicine and Tylenol before it’s too late. Once a cold has reached its peak, all you can do from that point on is ride it out. So tackling it with the quickness is most important in fighting it off.

Proper Dieting Is A Must

Now I know some of us out there can’t go out and buy all the expensive food items that are essential for creating a healthy, full course meal. And for those college students out there, your daily diet consists of dollar menu items and a nice bowl of Oodles and Noodles. But if you do have a few coins to rub together, be sure to add some fresh fruits like oranges, which contain high levels of Vitamin C, to your grocery list. And adding a little fresh greenery to your plate will also help ward off a cold. Drinking plenty of water can go a long way in your cold battle as well.

Step Up Your Vitamin Game

When it comes to preventing a cold, building up your immune system by taking vitamins on a daily basis is a great start. Vitamins C, D and Zinc are great to take when attempting to fight off an oncoming cold or one that has already reared its ugly head. Women’s One A Day and any other kind of multivitamin will give you the daily dose that you need. But it definitely doesn’t hurt to take it a step further and take an extra Vitamin C tablet here or there considering the fact that Vitamin C is water soluble. Taking Vitamin C drops are also good ways to maintain a good amount of Vitamin C in your system.

Keep Those Hands Clean

Running to the sink to give your hands a good scrub may not always be that easy for some of us to do, especially during the middle of a busy work day. Luckily, using hand sanitizer can kill a sizeable percentage of the bacteria that gets on your hands throughout the day. No it’s not like soap and water, but it’s close enough. On top of keeping your hands clean, make sure you keep them out of your face and eyes. Rubbing your eyes and putting your fingers in your mouth in the midst of all the germy things that you come in contact with throughout your day is a sure fire way to catch a cold.

Sleep, Sleep and More Sleep

Getting at least the recommended 8 hours of sleep at night is a good way to fight off a cold. The energy that is drained from your body from all that hacking and sneezing that you have been doing will be fully replenished if you give it a real chance to rest. I’m not talking about those daily cat naps that some us of take but real sleep. You should be sure to get a good amount of sleep whether you are feeling under the weather or not. But you especially want to catch some sleep when you are battling a cold. A lack of rest can prolong the common cold, making it harder to fight off.

Throw in a couple glasses of warm tea and a nice hot shower, and you will be saying goodbye to your cold in no time.

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