9 Natural Ways to Avoid the Common Cold

Image from Depolo

Image from Depolo

By Luke Jones. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. 


The winter months bring with them runny noses and tickly coughs. For many people that’s just a fact of life.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We may never be able to completely escape from the common cold, but I believe there are a few things we can do to up our defences, boost our immune systems, and increase our chances of emerging from the winter health intact.

The ideas below aren’t based on the latest double-blind studies or scientific review papers, so don’t take them as gospel. They’re just some guidelines that I use personally, and they seem to usually work pretty well.


1. Get adjusted. Chiropractic is often quite a misunderstood practice. It’s not all about curing neck and back pain – it’s about turning on your bodies natural ability to cure and defend itself.

Your immune system plays a big role in determining whether you succumb to the common cold. It can only function properly if your nervous system is working right, and your nervous system can only fire if your spine is aligned. Go get yourself checked by a qualified practitioner.

2. Eat a wholesome diet. A diet consisting of whole, plant foods forms a pretty good defensive barrier against any threatening infections. Plants are packed with thousands of phytochemicals that we don’t quite understand yet, but apparently they are pretty good at boosting the immune system and fighting off infections.

Make sure you’re getting lots of leafy greens and fresh fruits. You can even blend them up into a great tasting smoothie to get a good head start on your day.

3. Keep hydrated. We’re made up of mostly water, and we can’t function properly if we don’t take enough in. And it’s just as important to stay hydrated during the winter months – not just on a hot summers day.

Give your body the best fighting chance by taking in at least 2-3 litres a day, and eating plenty of water rich fresh fruits and veg.

4. Exercise regularly. Exercise is a key part of the common cold defence, again helping to build a healthy immune system. Get your blood pumping with some long distance running or a martial arts class – whatever you enjoy that gets you moving.

With regards to exercising if you already have a cold – I usually follow a simple but unverified rule. If symptoms are below the neck, take a rest. If they’re above the neck, some light exercise should be fine, but err on the side of caution…

5. Get more sleep. The more you give your body a chance to recover, the less likely it will be affected by the cold virus. I tend to feel best after at least 8 hours, but it’s not always realistic… Try taking mini naps during the day if that works for you.

The quality of your sleep is just important as the quantity, perhaps more so. Check out these 13 ways to upgrade your sleep for a few ideas on how to get the most out of your shut-eye.

6. De-stress. Stressed individuals are more likely to have a weakened immune system, hence are more likely to get infected with a cold.

Meditation, exercise, and spending time with friends can all be effective stress busters. If you’re stuck for other ideas, take a look at these 40 Ways to Deal With Stress.

7. Keep hygienic. Keep your hands clean. Wipe down your surfaces often. Stop touching your face so much. Put your tissues in the bin. Pretty self-explanatory really.

The less opportunity you give germs to proliferate, the less chance you’ll end up developing the good old common cold.

8. Get some fresh air. It’s no secret that I love the outdoors. Going out for a stroll in the sunshine gives you a good dose of Vitamin D to boost your immune system. The fresh air also provides you with the chance to escape from those closed spaces where germs are free to collect.

I find that being outside is also a great way to de-stress, clear my mind, and put things into perspective too. Great added bonuses.

9. Change those habits. Smoking can have some pretty nasty effects on your immune system, significantly reducing your defences against infections. Alcohol also has a similar effect, and both habits bring along a whole load of other negative health effects.

Quitting can often be easier said than done, but it is possible if you really want to change. First recognise how these habits serve you, then start replacing them with healthy alternatives – slowly, easily and repeating often.

What are some of your favourite ways to prevent the common cold?  Let us know in the comments below!

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones is a mover, blogger and wellness enthusiast. He spends his time exploring and sharing ideas in mindful movement, healthy living and adventure.

7 Responses to “9 Natural Ways to Avoid the Common Cold

  • Wow love the fact that the first thing you say is about Chiropractic, so pleased that someone GETS it! Not many people do. Keep up the good work! Love the article! Blessings Joy

    • HealthRoom
      4 years ago

      Thanks Joy! Chiropractic really is such a powerful tool. I really think it will play a massive part in the future of healthcare and preventative medicine.

  • Great post on how to stay healthy with this crazy weather. Good, simple tips that are effective. Keep up the good work!

  • Alyssa Ferrero
    4 years ago

    I just came across your blog today (after you liked mine–thanks!) and I’m really loving it. I’ve always tried to be concious of my body as a whole and keep myself healthy so it can maintain and defend itself, but this year I want to be much more serious and intentional about it and your blog has all the right tips!

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