Something about the winter season always means widespread colds for most people. Colds are cause by viruses, not by cool temperatures. Still, they are more prevalent in the winter. While the viruses that cause colds may thrive in the winter, there are other reasons more people catch colds this season than the weather. You spend a lot more time inside with dry, recirculated air, which makes it harder to clear mucus from your sinuses. You’re also in closer quarters with people, making the spread of disease-causing germs easier. The increased time indoors, longer days and grey skies also means you’re probably getting less vitamin D and melatonin, both of which are crucial for boosting your immune system. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid catching a cold this winter.

Wash Your Hands
We can’t say this enough. The best way to stop the spread of germs is to wash your hands. Before you eat, after you use the bathroom and whenever you touch something that may have germs on it (doorknobs, shopping cart handles, faucets). When you shake someone’s hand, wash or sanitize your hands afterward, especially if you suspect they’re sick.

Get Enough Sleep
When you’re sleep deprived, you immune system isn’t function as well as it should be. That leaves you less able to fight viruses and make you more likely to catch a cold. Make sure you’re getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night. If you’re already sick or feel a cold coming on, try to get between 8 and 10.

Working out boost your immune function, making you less likely to get sick. It also keeps you energized, helps you sleep better and may make you more likely to eat healthy foods—all of which help fight sickness. You don’t need to run marathons—just thirty minutes of moderate exercise four or five times a week is enough. Take a brisk walk before or after dinner to see the benefits.

Drink Water
Staying hydrated is important in the winter, too. Some doctors believe part of the reason colds are so much more prevalent in the winter is because we’re sitting inside with dry, artificial heat. That can dry out your mucus membranes, which are necessary for repelling viruses from your body. When they get too dry, it’s easier for you to catch a cold. Plus, staying hydrated will help you if you do get sick. It help loosen the mucus in your nasal passageways so it can get out, hopefully draining the virus that’s making you ill.

Eat Healthy Food
Getting your recommended daily vitamins and minerals can help stave off illness. Vitamin C especially is good for boosting your immune system and keeping you healthy. You can find vitamin C in citrus fruits, orange juice, strawberries and dark leafy greens.

If you do find yourself with a cold this winter, you can rely on DayClear™ for all you cold relief medications. They’re formulated without artificial flavors and dyes, and are free from gluten, alcohol and sugar.