Snow and cold weather are staples of winter—and so is that nasty common cold. Colds are caused by viruses, and since there is no cure for colds—except for good old fashioned “time”— pain medicines simply exist to relieve outward symptoms of a cold. Vitamin C, chicken soup, and inhaling systems are all remedies you may have tried in regards to getting through a nasty stuffy nose and itchy throat faster, but at the end of the day prevention is the best medicine.

How can you keep yourself protected from catching the bug? These tips will help you to lessen your risk of coming down with a cold and allow you to partake fully in the joys of the winter season.

Disinfect!

Always disinfect your household, office, and car, or any place that you sit in for extended periods of time. Disinfect equipment that comes into contact with the mouth, ears or nose, such as telephones or earplugs.

Wash!

Make sure you wash your hands carefully with warm water and soap. Use hand sanitizer to disinfect when you travel, especially before you eat. Also, don’t forget to wash anything that comes into contact with your body on a regular basis—this includes bed linens, towels, and your cookware and utensils before each use.

Avoid!

If you share personal items with other people, you’re sending an open invitation to catch germs. Also, avoid close contact with other individuals who have a cold—the virus may be communicable. Avoid coughing on others or food—you don’t want to spread your germs, and it’s just not polite.

Remember!

Staying clean is a year-round effort. Replace your toothbrushes every several months or when they appear to be starting to fray. Toothbrushes are breeding grounds for germs. Also, make sure you are getting enough sleep and vitamin C. This will keep your body’s immune system to stay strong enough to prevent and battle off a cold in a matter of days.

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