The colder months are approaching and with them comes the dreaded winter cold. We’ve all been there, aching body, constant tiredness no matter how many hours you sleep and swallowing feels like there’s a razor blade lodged in your throat. Cue the extreme self-pity party. While being sat in front of the TV all day with blankets and junk food might sound like an appealing cure, it won’t give you the speedy recovery you’re after. If you want a fast fix to beat your cold, follow our top tips:
The most important thing you can do when you catch a cold is sleep. Your body is working hard to fight off the infection, so it needs more energy than usual. Also, lack of sleep makes your immune system weak, and if your immune system is weak there is no hope of a quick recovery. When you start feeling cold symptoms, stay home from work and focus on resting – if you push yourself you’ll only end up feeling worse!
If your cold symptoms are preventing you from getting a decent night’s sleep, try adding an extra pillow so your head is raised, helping you to breathe easier.
You may have thought eating chicken soup was an old wives’ tale, but there may be more truth to it than you thought. That’s right, your mum wasn’t lying! It will soothe your throat, thin mucus and also keep you hydrated. Alongside chicken soup, Healthline suggests garlic, yogurt and citrus fruits are all foods to fill yourself with when you’re suffering (not all in one dish, obviously).
You’ve got to the stage where your nose is completely bunged up, and you realise you’ll never take being able to breathe properly for granted again. A steamy bath or shower will help to ease this congestion, loosen mucus and calm inflation in your sinuses to combat that stuffy nose. Add a couple of drops of peppermint oil to your bath to make this even more effective.
We all know staying hydrated is important, but it’s all the more vital when a cold arrives. Our bodies need lots of water to replace any lost fluids, not only will this prevent headaches caused by dehydration, it will break down mucus and keep your throat lubricated. Stick to water or tea with honey and lemon and steer clear of the booze (heartbreaking, we know).
Keep your hands clean by washing them regularly and keeping an antibacterial gel handy. This will kill any germs before they have the chance to spread.
Take some Echinacea when you start feeling cold symptoms. Some studies have shown Echinacea increases the amount of white blood cells, which fight infections. While these studies are not conclusive, it doesn’t hurt to give it a try!
Keep your vitamin D levels topped up to keep you protected against colds. The sunshine vitamin is important for your bones, but also helps our immune system. As vitamin D is made in the skin when exposed to the sun, levels are often low in the winter. Sounds like an excuse to book a winter sun spa break if you ask us…
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