Winter Health: The Common Cold

Winter evokes images of winter wonderland scenes of graceful ice skaters and sparkling snowflakes. But to prevent adding illness and injury to this idyllic scene, it is important to exercise health and safety precautions during the winter months.

One of the mainstays of winter is the common cold. More than 100 viruses can cause colds, the world’s most frequent illness, so most people average about three colds each year. To reduce your chances of catching a cold, keep up your natural resistance with good nutrition, adequate sleep, seasonally-appropriate exercise, and vitamins. Keep the humidity up and the thermostat down in your home, as dry air dries out and cracks the mucous membranes in your nose and throat, creating spaces for cold viruses to enter. And wash your hands frequently, especially after contact with someone who has a cold.

If you do catch a cold, you will probably experience a sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes, aches and pains, low fever, nasal congestion, and/or fever, for about a week or two. Treat your cold with a mild pain/fever reducer, a lot of fluids, and a great deal of bed rest to ensure that you recover your strength as quickly as possible.