Three Ways To Stop A Cold Before It Starts

It’s that time of year again, cold and flu season. If you have kids, your family may have already had the pleasure of hosting whatever is going around. Yuck! Exposure to germs is unavoidable, but with proper self care (including frequent hand washing, eating a healthy diet, managing stress, getting plenty of exercise and getting plenty of rest) you may be able to limit the frequency and severity of an illness. The next time you feel a tickle in your throat, go on the offensive with these three tips:

1. Hydrate hydrate hydrate!

The often quoted recommendation is half your body weight in ounces. Drinking plenty of water, tea, or juice will help to thin mucus so your body can more effectively eliminate it.

2. Gargle

Dissolve a large spoonful of sea salt in a mug of warm water and gargle at least three times a day. This will help flush viruses from your throat. If you have a neti pot or saline nasal spray, flushing your sinuses will help to clear mucus and bacteria, and speed recovery.

3. Rest

Stay home and rest! If you must work, go in for a half day, wrap up any important tasks that absolutely must get done that day, and stay away from your coworkers (the first 48 hours of a cold is when you are most contagious), then go home and go to bed. If your dry throat is keeping you up, try taking a spoonful of honey. This coats your throat and has antimicrobial properties.


Anne McCranie is a Portland based personal trainer and licensed massage therapist. She offers these tips to keep you feeling your best. Please see your medical professional for specific health advice.