How to Avoid Summer Colds

With summer just around the corner, I’d thought I’d write an article about summer colds. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten sick quite a few times during the summer. When you think of summertime, you think of the beaming sun, relaxing on the beach, getting a suntan and maybe catching some waves. No one envisions a person lying in bed with a tissue box in one corner and a runny nose. Well, let me tell you.. summer colds can be worst than winter colds.

When you think of having a cold or flu, you usually associate it with the winter seasons. But the cold or flu doesn’t wait for the weather to change, it’ll sneak up on you and infect you like the pest it is. Being sick when it’s hot is the worst, isn’t it? Your body is hot and cold and you’re extremely uncomfortable. Who wants to be sick during the summer anyway? According to Dr. Bruce Hirsch, infectious disease specialists at North Shore University Hospital, he says, “Winter cold viruses tend to make you feel really sick, and then you get over it.” “Summer colds just seem to lurk in the background…and just go on and on and on.” “The summer cold is really kind of tricky,” Hirsch said, “probably because the viruses that cause it [can be] different than a winter cold. Something about it is awful and insidious.” I’ve definitely felt that way and my colds have lasted well over 2 weeks.

A winter cold usually results from an infection of the rhinovirus. They’re short, nasty and draining. They’ll come quickly and leave within the week. Whereas the summer colds are a different breed. Summer colds are products of enterovirus, and tend to worsen as time goes on. Their symptoms are less severe but quite annoying.

Here are a few tricks you can try to avoid catching a winter cold:

1. Vitamin C. Pack it on. Eat an orange, drink orange juice. Bring packets of Emergen-C with you.

2. Stay clean. Wash your hands thoroughly, minimum 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer.

3. Fresh air. Try to get some fresh air every now and then. If you work, take a quick 5 minute break from your desk and get away from the air conditioner.

4. Rest and sleep. Stress makes your body more prone to colds. Lacking sleep does the same too. Try to relax when you can and get enough sleep.

5. Regularly exercise. Exercising has immune-system enhancing effects that can help ward off illness.

6. Stay hydrated. Drinking water can help reduce your symptoms.

7. Drink some tea. Drink green or black tea, as it has more proteins to help fight off germs that can cause your summer cold. An iced glass of green tea is nice during this warm weather.

8. Vaccination. This is a 2nd option to try to avoid colds and flu. With the flu getting stronger and stronger each year, vaccinations seem to be a good option. Some people have gotten sick after they got the shot, so it’s up to your discretion to talk to your doctor about it.

9. Icky throat? Feeling a weird scratchy feeling in your throat? That’s a sign that a sore throat may be coming. Try the salt gurgle as often as you can. I’ve tried this trick, and it has worked wonders for me. Mix a 4oz cup of warm water with about a teaspoon of salt and gurgle it back. If you can handle more salt, add more.

As summer’s coming upon us, why not try some of these steps to avoid being sick? You don’t want to be stuck indoors while it’s outdoor worthy weather. Enjoy your weekend and stay healthy!

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