Every year during the winter season, it seems that so many people find themselves sick with a cold, or worse, the flu. A cold can be a problem enough to make you miss out on activities in your life, and the flu can put you in bed for a week or more. The good news is that there are safe and healthy ways to avoid both of them.
Start by Knowing What You Have
Some people do not understand how to tell the difference between a cold and the flu, but it is a good idea to know how to spot each of them. Here are symptoms of each illness so that you can determine what someone has, and how to avoid it yourself.
- A Cold: sneezing, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, some headaches. A common cold will almost never be accompanied by a fever. However, there are some cases when children will have a slight fever.
- The Flu: cough, headache, muscle aches, feeling tired, fever, nausea, chest congestion. When a person has the flu, they will feel very tired and achy all over.
How to Avoid Getting Sick
Both the common cold and influenza are highly contagious and they are passed through the air or through touch. In order to avoid getting sick, you need to practice habits to protect yourself. Here are some of the things that you need to do:
- Wash your hands often. When you come in contact with germs, you could cause yourself to get sick by touching your mouth or eyes. By washing your hands often, you can protect yourself from problem germs. To get extra protection, ensure that you are using antibacterial soap to wash your hands.
- Use antibacterial wipes. Whenever you come in contact with public property, like the handle of a shopping cart, you could be exposing yourself to germs. It is a good idea to get into the habit of carrying around antibacterial wipes to wipe down these surfaces. Some stores even keep containers of these wipes at entrances.
- Recognize the illness and act quickly. Sometimes, no matter what you do, you will get sick despite your best efforts not to. You can still avoid becoming very ill by recognizing the symptoms of the cold or flu and acting against them as soon as possible.
Home Remedies to Ease the Cold or the Flu
Any physician will tell you that once you have a cold, there is no cure for it, and the flu is very similar. Instead, you can do things that will ease the symptoms of the illness and make you comfortable enough so that you can continue with your daily life.
- Chicken Soup – the comfort of warm soup can ease aches and pains caused by being sick, but that is not all. There are actually studies showing that chicken soup can act against the viruses that cause cold and flu.
- Echinacea Tea – there are many different herbal teas that will actually reduce the symptoms of the cold. Echinacea is a natural ingredient that works as an anti-inflammatory that can ease the cold and flu symptoms that affect the chest and throat.
- Vitamin C – this vitamin is important in the prevention and easing cold and flu symptoms. Vitamin C is important to boost your immune system, which can keep you from getting sick and can help you get well quickly.
If you are smart this cold and flu season, you can remain much healthier despite the germs around you. Remember to wash your hands often, stay away from areas prone to germs, and act quickly when you realize you are getting sick.
Valerie Johnston is a health and fitness writer located in East Texas. With ambitions of one day running a marathon, writing for Healthline.com ensures she keeps up-to-date on all of the latest health and fitness news.