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How YOU can stay healthy this winter

November 28, 2012 11:10 IST

Just how can you prevent yourself from catching the bug this winter? Kanchan Maslekar tells you just that AND what you must do if you end up with it. Read on!

Come winter and with the woolens and thermals come the running nose, coughs and cold. The common cough and cold is one of the most common ailments in winter and hence called so!

The sudden drop in temperature, especially early mornings and nights makes you prone to the common cold and cough. A joke goes that for a common cold, you get well after a week with medication and after seven days without medication. But there are definitely ways of avoiding the cold

Here is a look at the preventive steps to be taken to avoid catching it:

Prevention

  • Use warm clothes while stepping out in the early mornings and evenings. Make sure you cover your ears as well as your nose (especially children) as you are most likely to catch a infection through it
  • Have lemon juice in lukewarm water to increase your immunity. It also cleanses your digestive system
  • Daily dose of one amla another vitamin C food, also improves your immunity.
  • Include ginger in your meals to keep the cough at bay
  • Keep your house warm by closing the doors and windows in the early mornings and nights. Make sure you open the windows during afternoons so that the sun can warm up the house.
  • Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your nose or mouth
  • Sip on warm water through the day.
  • Avoid eating food straight out of the refrigerator
But in case you catch the bug, here are symptoms you must look out for

  • Runny or blocked nose, loss of smell and uncomfortable breathing. Sore throat of itchiness or pain in the throat while swallowing, eating or even drinking.
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Mild fever or body ache
  • Fatigue
Treatment

  • In addition to popping the cold pill, here are small things which will help you feel better.
  • Getting enough rest is the best way to restore your body's balance.
  • Sip on warm water, squeeze in some lemon
  • Gargle with hot water and salt or turmeric before hitting the bed
  • A glass of warm milk at night with turmeric, honey and a pinch of ginger powder will be good not only for the throat but also ensure a good night's sleep
  • As soon as you start symptoms of cold, use a steamer before going to sleep. Boil water and cover your head with a towel to breathe in the steam. You can also use the steamers available in the market, very effective, especially for kids
  • Adding crushed ginger, a pinch of black pepper and some tulsi to your daily cup of tea will also give you a lot of relief.
  • Use nasal drops, traditionally two drops of ghee was used to remove the congestion
  • Don't share. Don't share drinking glasses or utensils with other family members. Use your own glass or disposable cups when you or someone else is sick.
  • Use paper towels or old cotton duppattas to cover your nose, they are soft and can be disposed off.
  • Stay away from public places: Avoid schools and offices; you are prone to catching more infections and also passing on infections to others.
You MUST see your doctor when:

  • You are running temperature for over a week
  • Breathing becomes difficult
  • Your symptoms get worse or do not improve even after a week
  • You have an upset stomach.
  • Or any kind of rash appears on the body.