Find out the sneaky ways colds affect us and how we can hold them at bay, at least for a while.
Contamination from sharing: If your sniffly friend wants to show you photos of her toddler on her phone, offer to hold her purse while she does the scrolling. Droplets of moisture containing cold-causing viruses get dispersed and thus, neutralized on tissues, fabrics and other soft materials but remain intact on metal, glass and the scratch-resistant polycarbonate of mobile phones, living on these types of objects for up to 18 hours.
Exercise: In numerous surveys fitness buffs report that they’re much less likely to experience cold symptoms — and not because they also tend to be more likely to eat well and prioritize sleep. Those who work out once a week or less, and do regular exercise — which includes brisk walking mobilize their immune cells, putting them on high-alert for invading pathogens.
Honey: A recent study shows that honey can help relieve night time cough symptoms in children over 1 year old, and another study found that buckwheat honey helped sick children sleep better; it is like putting a soothing moisturizer on the dry, irritated lining of your throat.
Milk: The vitamin D in milk can boost your energy while your body is fighting off pathogens, and the liquid will keep your tissues hydrated. What’s more, vitamin D spurs cell growth and helps keep your immune system working optimally — potentially preventing you from getting sick in the first place. Those who are still firmly anti-milk can get their vitamin D from fish like swordfish, salmon and tuna, or from fortified orange juice or cereal.
Same cold twice: After you’re infected with a virus, you become immune to it, so it is nearly impossible for it to re-infect you. Unfortunately, you are still vulnerable to the 200-plus other viruses floating around during any given year, and they can combine to create more than 1,500 different variations of colds.