It’s the most glorious season of the year, and the last thing you want is to feel under the weather. The great news: A few unexpected tricks fend off colds and viruses (including COVID-19) to keep you healthy all summer.
While out and about… Wear sunglasses.
Slipping on shades makes you up to 82 percent less likely to catch an airborne infection than if you’d skipped the specs, a new study in JAMA Ophthalmology found. Turns out, a membrane that covers the front of the eye (the conjunctiva) is one of the top ways sick-causing microbes including COVID enter our bodies. Sunglasses, though, prevent you from rubbing your eyes and transferring germs. Plus, they physically block airborne particles. Overcast day? Regular eyeglasses work just as well!
While driving… Crack your window.
Letting a breeze flow through the car for 60 seconds every 15 minutes while driving with others-or simply leaving windows cracked 1⁄4 inch-cuts the risk of infection by up to 70 %, according to Britain’s National Health Service. As the breeze whips through the car, it zips lingering microbes out of the enclosed space. Tip: Open the window on the opposite side of the car from where each person is sitting (rather than the one right beside them). Brown University researcher Kenny Breuer, Ph.D., found that the technique creates the most effective airflow pattern for reducing virus particles in the air.
When at home… Wear slippers.
As weird as it sounds, wearing slippers or socks when the air-conditioning is cranked up noticeably lessens your risk of catching a summer cold or virus. Scientists at the Common Cold Center in the U.K. suspect that when feet feel chilly, the body focuses energy on warming them up rather than fighting off invading microbes.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.