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Tips for keeping colds at bay this winter
03 Jun 2013

Colds are common during the winter months, but there are things you can do to help to reduce your chances of getting a cold.

Colds are virus infections. You can get colds by being near others with a cold, and you can also find the virus on surfaces that have been contaminated by people with colds - by touching, coughing, or sneezing on them. Touching contaminated surfaces won’t give you a cold. But when you touch your eyes or nose you may get the virus. If you wash your hands regularly you will kill the germs before they become a problem.

Getting enough sleep is vital for good health, as it helps to keep your immune system functioning well. Research shows that poor sleep and insomnia can affect your immune system.

Research also shows exercise is another important way to boost your immune system, as is eating well, including lots of fruit and vegetables, whole grains and legumes in your diet.

Taking echinacea preparations early (before you feel any signs of a cold) or right at the beginning of the symptoms, might be useful in preventing the cold getting a hold on you.

Some research has suggested that zinc tablets help prevent colds, and help people recover faster too.

Read more in the topic colds, flu and sore throats