Looking to learn the secret to avoiding this season’s common cold before you walk down the aisle? While there may be as many as 200 different kinds of rhinoviruses, the virus that causes the common cold, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, especially if you are preparing for your big day.
1. Wash your hands. A LOT. This will help if you have picked up a cold virus. An object that has been contaminated, say a doorknob, can still transmit the virus up to 18 hours after it has been touched. Be sure to scrub the fronts and backs of your hands, even between your fingers, while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.
2. Don’t touch your face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose or mouth.
3. Clean and disinfect. If someone around you has been sick, clean all surfaces to stop the spread of germs.
4. Get a flu shot. Even worse than a cold is the flu. Protect yourself with a vaccination every year.
5. Use a tissue. Use a tissue to cover a cough or sneeze (and then toss it) or use the crook of your arm.
6. Work in some exercise. Regular aerobic exercise helps increase the body’s natural virus-killing cells.
7. Eat more veggies. Plants contain phytochemicals, which are a super charged way to get your vitamins.
8. Don’t smoke and limit alcohol. Smoking paralyzes the cilia, the hairs that line the nose and lungs and sweep cold and flu viruses out of the nasal passages. Alcohol suppresses the immune system and dehydrates the body, both of which are welcoming signs to a cold.
9. Say goodnight. A good night’s sleep will not only help you look your best on your big day, but it can also bolster your immune system and ward off a cold.
10. And finally, relax. Relaxation is a learnable skill that can rev up the immune system by increasing interleukins, your immune system’s first responders against cold and flu viruses, in the bloodstream.
Christopher Stipp is the Director of Online Marketing for Massage Envy Spa. Connect with Christopher on Google+.