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Albeit lazily, but winter is finally setting in. While we are all juiced up to make a style statement in those woollies, the sudden chill in the air can also leave us incapacitated. Medical stores are hands down the most visited “destinations” this season, all thanks to cold and flu. It’s worse if you live in a polluted city (*cough* Delhi *cough*) where the persistent smog can make even the most harmless of colds last for days. And no one wants to party with a sniffle, right? What a waste of December that would be. 

While experts believe that there’s no real cure for the common cold, except to let it play out, there are however plenty of ways to make sure you don’t catch one at all. Most of these fall under the ‘common sense’ category, so, perhaps, reading them out loud in your best Mommy voice might help?

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Cover up

This is a no-brainer. If you are more inclined to show off your new buy (hell, yeah!) without the necessary jacket, stole, or coat, it’s a pretty sure invitation to cold and flu this season. So, get your woollies out of the closet and into the sun. Besides, winter fashion is kind of hot, so layer up and hit the road. 

Natural approach

Lost your otherwise earsplitting voice to cold and flu? Get that high-octane voice back (we dare say!) by sipping on warm water or green tea at regular intervals. That flat stomach as an added bonus with regular intake of green tea is not a bad idea after all.  

It’s time to snooze!

Missing out on your daily eight hours can get you in really bad shape. So, hit the bed on time and catch up on that much needed snooze. It will help overall immunity which is the only way to keep that cold at bay. 

Exercise, say the experts!

Sarika Prasad, consultant dietitian at Medstar clinic and the Centre Manager for Experience, Kolkata, recommends: “One must include brisk walking in their exercise regime along with some respiratory tract related yoga asanas to keep cold and flu at bay. Add Vitamin C rich fruits like, amla, guava, and oranges in your daily diet.”

But, what do you do when you’ve gone ahead and fallen sick anyway? We’re glad you asked.

Hot Water Showers

There could be perhaps no better alternative to this; and, yet, many of us still prefer to stay under the wraps than step into the shower. The steam not just helps clear nasal congestion by flushing out the mucus and phlegm, but also soothes body pain.

Call it dry

Ah! How we understand that joy of premium liquor while you are down and out. But, none of that brandy, whiskey or black rum, can actually get you up and going for real. In fact, the Centre for Disease Control says that your bloodstream needs 60-80 percent more alcohol (than blood) to kill the virus. Basically, it kills you first to get to the virus. So, take your call.

 Go natural

Remember that lump of ginger that patiently waits to be slayed for a spicy curry? A warm spoonful of ginger and honey mix twice a day can work wonders for your stuffy nose or that nasty sore throat.

Then, there’s also our all-rounder tulsi. Sarika advises chewing on 5-8 tulsi leaves daily to prevent cold and flu naturally. She adds: “You can brew yourself some punch with  20 basil leaves, 1” ginger piece, 4-5 cloves, and 1” cinnamon stick in one glass of water for instant relief”.

Don’t let the virus win, you guys!

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