If you’re a dedicated “Game of Thrones” fan like me, the phrase “winter is coming” triggers vivid images of menacing armies of white walkers and whispers of ominous mutterings from various Starks, living or otherwise.
But, even if your viewing habits don’t include “Game of Thrones,” winter really is coming. Here are four good preventive steps you can take to avoid colds and keep your good health all winter long.
Wash your hands
The simplest and best of all the possible things you can do to prevent colds is to wash your hands. A lot. Religiously.
Warm water and soap will do the trick, but take your time. Try for 20 seconds per wash – that’s the equivalent of singing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice.
And remember, even when your hands are clean, they are still regular germ breeding grounds. Keep them away from your mouth and your nose.
Keep those surfaces clean
Viruses cause colds and flu, and the little beasties pass easily from surface to person. Anything you touch – a computer keyboard, a cell phone, a doorknob, even the stylus you use when you sign for a credit card purchase at the supermarket – is potentially a stew of germs.
It’s a great idea to sanitize everything you can with alcohol-based cleaners. And if you can’t, see previous point: wash your hands!
Increase vitamin D levels
We all know about the good things that getting more vitamin D will do:
- Strengthen your heart
- Enhance your skin
- Boost your immune system
- Make you happier
It’s all good stuff. And you can get the benefits of higher vitamin D levels in your bloodstream without taking dietary supplements or risking skin cancer.
Just take advantage of a few lifestyle changes. Lose weight, lower your cholesterol, exercise more, and eat more fatty fish (wild salmon, for example.)
Treat it as a selfless act and a random act of kindness. That’s because a flu shot helps boost “herd immunity,” which means you’re also protecting your family, your colleagues, your friends, and your neighbors.
You can do it!
Prevention is the key. Do the basics—eat right, sleep right, exercise, and wash your hands. When you do these things, your chances of catching a cold this winter will drop significantly.