- Tips for avoiding a cold

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Tips for avoiding a cold

1. Wash your hands after being in other people’s houses or in shops or other public places. The cold virus can be transferred from person to person via hands or via surfaces that others have touched. Research has shown that increasing the frequency of hand washing decreases the number of colds. Wearing gloves while on public transport or in other public places is another way of achieving the same ends.

2. Avoid touching your nose or eyes. If the virus is on your hands touching these places can initiate a cold. Viruses can survive for as long as 3 hours after escaping from an infected person.

3. Exercise daily. A brisk 30-40 minute walk each day halves the risk of getting a cold.

4. Wrap up warm when going out. Yes research now supports this old maxim.

5. My wife has hardly had any colds since retiring from teaching last year. On that evidence I suppose you could say avoid other people, particularly children but then life not would not be much fun.

6. Get old. Yes its true. Over the age of 50 the average person gets 2 colds per year compared to 20 year olds who get between 2 & 3 per year and children who get even more colds. One of the few advantages of the ageing process. Of course it may just be that we come into less contact with others.

7. Banish stress. Easier said than done. But apparently the more stress that you are under the more likely you are to go down with a cold.

8. Echinacea is a well-known anti-cold remedy but research studies have not supported this. Similarly Vitamin C on its own has not come out well as an anti-cold remedy.

Personally If I feel a cold coming on I take a Zinc tablet+echinacea+Vitamin C and that normally works.

Another herbal remedy that I find good for cold prevention is Astralagus. However no one really knows how these are working so they should only be taken in the short term.

The information in this article comes mainly from ‘How to avoid a cold’ by Dr. Margaret Stearn in Here’s Health passed onto me by Margaret Paynter.

Colin Sutherland

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