Rhinovirus. It sounds cute, but it’s far from it. ‘Rhinovirus’ is the umbrella term for the infections which cause the common cold. And it’s about to be everywhere. Nobody likes being bunged up with a cold, but when everyone around you is sniffling and sneezing, it often feels like you can’t avoid it.
Or can you? Here are some tips to give you a shot at keeping rhinovirus at bay this winter.
Wash your hands
We were all taught this in primary school, but it’s worth repeating! You touch hundreds of objects and surfaces every day. During cold season, some of those things you touch are bound to be riddled with rhinovirus. But something as easy as washing your hands regularly can send those germs down the plughole rather than down your airways.
Exercise will strengthen your immune system. A strong immune system will fight off bugs. Simple as that! If you’re the type who struggles to stay fit during the winter, here are our top tips for workouts this seasons.
One of the (many) magical things that your body gets up to while you sleep is to produce the cells and antibodies which fight off infections. To keep your immune system well stocked with virus-busting weaponry, make sure that you’re getting enough sleep.
Up your zinc intake
Zinc is a miracle mineral. It helps us to heal, it slows ageing, and it’s recently been found to have powerful virus-fighting properties. Upping the zinc in your diet can drastically speed up your recovery time if you do get a cold. Having a diet rich in zinc in the first place will help your immune system to kill the cold virus before it gets the chance to make you sick. Zinc can be found in meat, shellfish, beans, chickpeas, and whole grains.
Eat green, leafy veg
Yes, it’s boring. But it’s good for you. Green, leafy veg like broccoli, kale, sprouts, and spinach are chock full of Vitamin C and Iron, both of which will fortify you against the common cold. Luckily, we’re coming into sprout season. Make the most of it!
Don’t touch your face
Rhinovirus gets into your body through your nose and mouth. Which (obviously) are located on your face. You’re most likely to pick up the virus on your hands (hence the first tip on this list), where it lurks until you touch your face - whereupon it hops into your airways and goes about its nasty business. You’d be amazed how often we touch our faces each day.To reduce your rhinovirus risk, try and keep face-touching to a minimum. It’s more difficult than you think! (Seriously, this might be the hardest tip on this list)
Put your hair up
Getting your hair out of your face is another way to keep rhinovirus out of your airways. The virus can spend a lot of time airborne after someone sneezes, so it’s easy to pick up in your hair. If you can, put your hair up or pull it back.
Stress leaves you depleted on almost every level. The more stressed you are, the more vulnerable you will be to infections. Make your mental wellbeing a priority this winter.