1| Handle with care. The easiest way to catch a cold is from touching the hands of a cold sufferer. The best way to avoid one is to keep your hands to yourself and to wash hands frequently. Keep your own hands away from your mouth, nose, and eyes. About 200 viruses can cause a cold and most can survive several hours on hands and clothes.
2| Take it easy. The best prescription, at least on the outset, is R & R. Limiting activities reduces the chances of spreading germs. Avoid stressful activities. This also reduces the immune system.
3| Air out the room. The reason most people catch colds between October and April is not because of cold weather, but because we spend so much time in close quarters where colds can spread fast. Overheating breaks down the defenses by drying the mucous membranes in the nose and throat. When indoors, try to keep room humidity high with a steam vaporizer.
4| Get your vitamins. Specifically, B Complex and C, which research suggests helps squash cold bugs before they inflict their "bite" by boosting the body's immune system.
5| Drink plenty of hot liquids. These combat colds in three ways: Relieve congestion, soothes throat irritation, and replenishes body fluids lost to feverish sweating.
6| Forget drugs. Most cold remedies promise much more than they can deliver. Decongestants in nose drops and sprays constrict blood vessels and if used for more than four days do more harm than good. Time-released medications often give you too much medication for one time, then too little. Generally, avoid these types of medications.