Updated 25 February 2016

Action point


If you have a cold, all you want is for it to pass as quickly as possible.

One way to get over it more quickly is by avoiding certain things that make it worse, such as:

  • Stress – stress hormones interfere with the immune system.
  • Too much alcohol or partying  – it dehydrates you, robs you of restorative sleep, increases congestion, while also damaging the immune system.
  • Smoking – affects the immune system and increases congestion.
  • Overdosing on decongestant sprays – in the long run overuse makes your stuffy nose stuffier.
  • Pretending you're not sick – not getting immediate rest and care means your body has to cope with too much at once, and reduces its ability to fight off infection.

Read up on why there still is no cure for the common cold


Live healthier

Don't even bother »

SEE: When you cough, this is what happens to your body LISTEN: Can you spot the smoker’s cough?

7 cough remedies that definitely don’t work

A chronic cough can be the bane of your life. Here are seven cough remedies you shouldn't waste your time with.

Be in the know! »

How to manage sensitive teeth 5 ways runners mess up their teeth

Oral health basics: what you need to know

Dr Simon Reeves talks us through the importance of oral health basics. Here’s how to care for your teeth properly.