When it comes to not catching the common cold virus, prevention is the most important thing. But to do it we must first understand how a cold virus works. Cold is caused by a number of viruses, the most common being the rhinovirus. It is the most prevalent viral infection that has plagued mankind since its inception. It is so frequent that it infects a human adult at least twice and a child at least six to twelve times a year.
We contract this virus when we come in contact with a person or a thing that already has this virus. For instance if you your hands come into contact with the virus and then you use the hands to wash your face, eyes or the mouth or if for instance you eat or drink through a dish that has the virus there is a good chance that you will contract this virus.
There is no cure for the virus yet but luckily the symptoms are minor and our immune system is well equipped to that. But to completely immunize ourselves will practically require living in a sterilized room; consuming cooked, home grown food and drinking laboratory distilled water from sterilized containers. In the practical world this is near impossible but what you can do is adopt some healthy habits that can greatly reduce the risk. Here is what you can do:
Studies have shown that those who engage in stimulating, calorie burning exercises at least five times a week, like aerobics, cycling and swimming, experience a reduction in the risk of catching a cold by as much as 46% and a reduction in the number of days they were sick by 41% (i.e. the severity of the common cold if the virus somehow reduces). Exercising releases endorphins in the body, which reduces stress and creates a state of mental well being.
Physically, exercise speeds up the metabolism, which in turn speeds up all systems of our body including the immune system. A stronger, better and faster immune system can better fight foreign agents inside the body.
The Myth of Staying Indoors
Remember what your grandma always said about catching a cold? Staying indoors in winters, avoiding getting wet in the rain or standing in front of a draft are traditional preventive measures, which modern studies have shown to be counter intuitive. Staying indoors in winters and rainy season can actually increase the likelihood of not just cold but other diseases. The extra heating and moisture inside the house that builds up during winters and the monsoon makes the house a perfect Petri dish for microbes. So going out catching fresh air in the snow might be tedious but is actually healthy!
Stress weakens the body’s chemistry. Our brain consumes a staggering 20% of all the energy produced by the body and in times of stress it goes on an overdrive. Our systems get compromised as a result including the immune system. Further when we are stressed, we are prone to taking stimulants and unhealthy food and this lack of nutrition results in further deterioration of health.
Allan is not a doctor, but really enjoy blogging about natural and practical remedies for a healthy lifestyle. Allan has published several articles on various online publications including FHI, and prominent health related blogs.