Cold and Flu PreventionAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult can expect to contract two or three cases of the common cold every year. Fortunately, at Vermont Urgent Care, we have some useful advice to help you avoid becoming one of these statistics. Follow these six preventative tips and enjoy a happy, healthy winter season.

Lighten up on the exercise when feeling sickly.

Many people like to head to the gym when they begin feeling the first signs of a cold. Instead of trying to sweat out the virus by running on a treadmill, lightening up your exercise routine will actually boost your circulatory system to a much higher degree. Your body needs all the energy it can get to fight the virus. Take a brisk walk around the block instead.

Try zinc lozenges.

Current medical research shows that zinc is a powerful nutrient that jump starts the immunity system. As soon as you start feeling a bit sickly or sluggish, start popping zinc lozenges. You still might contract the cold or flu, but the symptoms will be far less severe and the sickness will likely have a much shorter duration.

Adjust your position.

Laying on our backs when we sleep can lead to excess mucus collecting in the sinus cavities. In turn, we can also make the cold much worse because this mucus buildup can lead to further infections or even chronic sinusitis. Sitting or sleeping with the head at a slight 45-degree angle will help reduce the inflammation in the nasal cavity and improve blood flow.

Don’t forget the probiotics.

In a recent 2012 research study, a group of college student suffering from the common cold were split into two groups. The first group was given a probiotic supplement called lactobacillus rhamnosus. The control group took no probiotics whatsoever. Results show that those who took the probiotics had symptoms that were 34% less severe and an illness duration that was 48-hours shorter on average.

Include green curry to your diet.

Spicy foods can help to clear the sinuses. Green curry, hot peppers, and chili powder are some of the most effective. These foods tend to make the eyes water and the nose run, which helps rid the body of the infecting virus. In a 2011 study, researchers discovered that nasal sprays infused with the chemical found in chili peppers called capsaicin helps to improve the nasal congestion rapidly.

Gargle with warm salt water.

This concoction really does alleviate cold and flu symptoms. Take a cup of warm water and add about a ½ teaspoon of ordinary table salt. The salt kills nasty pathogens, flushes out germs, loosens mucus in the nasal cavity, and eases inflammation.

By incorporating these six preventative tips into your daily routine as soon as you begin feeling under the weather, you can greatly improve your chances of a quick recovery and reduce the severity of the related symptoms.