women with a cold or flu blowing nose on couch

How to Prevent Colds and Flus This Winter

As we enter cold and flu season, the question of how to prevent a cold becomes more and more prevalent in our lives. From vitamins and supplements to HEPA air purifiers, there are a lot of products that claim to prevent illness. But how do you prevent colds and flu naturally, and what are the best ways to avoid getting sick?

infographic about preventing viruses such as colds and flus

How can I prevent cold and flu naturally?

When it comes to colds and flu, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Because there's no cure for either seasonal colds or influenza, it's always better to avoid being sick in the first place. Thankfully, there are a variety of natural ways to prevent flu and colds.

The top way to support your immune system and prevent colds and flu is to take good care of yourself. This means getting a healthy diet and plenty of sleep, staying well hydrated, and exercising regularly. Building these healthy habits is key to avoiding illness, no matter who you are or what your flu season looks like. If you live someplace where you don't get a lot of sunlight, make sure you have a lot of vitamin D in your diet as well. While there is no vaccine for the common cold, it's also critical to get your flu shot every year.

What are five things you can do to prevent yourself from getting a cold or the flu?

There are a few tried-and-true ways to avoid colds and flu during the winter, no matter how quickly viruses can spread. These methods include:

  1. Improved Hygiene Practices - this includes regular hand washing, as well as sanitizing frequently used surfaces
  2. Avoid people who are already sick, regardless of whether they have minor symptoms or severe ones
  3. Cough and sneeze into tissues instead of your hands, and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing
  4. Eat a healthy, varied diet that's rich in green vegetables to keep your immune system as healthy as possible
  5. Use a humidifier and air purifier in your home during the dry winter months

Can an air purifier help you not get sick?

Air purifiers and filters are a natural way to prevent yourself from getting ill. While nothing can entirely prevent viruses and bacteria from sneaking into your body, having a good air purifier can improve the indoor air quality of your home. Having purified indoor air can also make the symptoms of illness less severe, simply because it's easier to breathe cleaner air.

What is the difference between a HEPA filter and an air purifier?

HEPA Air Filters:

  • move air through a series of filters to trap particles and odors
  • are highly effective against contaminants such as pet dander, smoke, and dust
  • have filters made of activated carbon or other materials

Ionizing Air Purifiers:

  • pass air over metal plates, ionizing the air that passes over them
  • are effective against bacteria and viruses, but not allergens
  • have no filters, instead relying on the user to clean the interior of the filter

Which is better, an air filter or an air ionizer?

Ionizing air filters often emit ozone, which is an indoor air pollutant and can aggravate conditions such as asthma, emphysema, and COPD. They're also not very effective against tiny particulates in the air, such as dust and pet dander. That's why there's been a shift in recent years from air ionizers to HEPA filters, and why HEPA air filters are generally better for the surrounding environment.

Do air purifiers prevent colds?

HEPA air purifiers filter contaminants as small as 0.3 microns from the air, and while they don't completely sterilize the air, they do reduce the occurrence of cold & flu viruses in your home. It's important to replace the air filter regularly, however, regardless of what it's made out of: an overly dirty air filter can be worse than having no air purifier at all.

Having clean air also reduces the symptoms of colds and flu. This means not only ventilating your home well, but running an air filter. If you have central heating or air conditioning, keep your vents clean to avoid buildup of dust and other harmful materials. You can also use an air filter in your vacuum cleaner, or even use a filtered vacuum bag to really trap allergens and irritants before they cause problems.

How do you prevent getting the flu in your house?

There are a variety of common-sense solutions to avoid getting the flu in the first place. The first method of avoiding the flu is to get your annual flu vaccine when it becomes available. While this doesn't protect you against every strain of influenza, vaccines are one of the best ways to prevent yourself from becoming ill. It's also important to avoid leaving your home when you're sick; this doesn't prevent you from getting sick, but it does greatly help slow the spread of colds and flu.

What if you feel a cold coming on?

If you start to feel sick, there are still a lot of ways to reduce the severity and duration of a cold (and even the flu). Get as much sleep as you can: 8 hours per night is the minimum, but if you can supplement with naps, that can help divert energy to your immune system.

If you feel a cold coming on, it's also crucial to stay hydrated. You don't have to just drink water; juice or clear broth can be extremely helpful as well. Chicken soup is a traditional cold remedy for good reason: the warm, clear broth helps break up mucus and keeps you hydrated at the same time.

How Veva Can Help Purify Your Air

Veva filters can improve air quality in your home in a variety of ways. From removing even tiny contaminants to improving the scent of your home. Filtering your air doesn't mean having bulky, ugly technology in the center of every room; Veva's air purifiers are small enough to fit in any room but powerful enough to cover rooms anywhere from 325 sq. ft. to 600 sq. ft. or more. Not sure what you need? Contact us to find out how we can help you keep your air as pure as possible.

 

Contributing Writer: Elizabeth Miller

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