As of this writing, we are currently in the latter stages of December, which, for many of us, puts us firmly in the midst of cold and flu season. Now, depending on whom you speak with, there will be some experts that believe that cold temperatures contribute towards colds and the flu, whereas there will be others that believe it is simply the fact that we spend more time indoors and in enclosed spaces with other people, that causes us to spread our germs around and catch colds. In reality, whether you believe it is enclosed spaces and a lack of ventilation, cold weather, or a combination of both, if there is one thing we can all agree on, it’s the fact that, if we do happen to pick up a common cold, we’ll want to do all that we can to fight it and recover. Ok, obviously a cold isn’t generally believed to be life threatening, but it can still leave you feeling extremely unwell and not actually wanting to do anything, other than lay around feeling sorry for yourself. The good news however, is that there are things you can do to not only fight colds if you pick them up, but there are also things you can do to prevent them before they strike. Here we’ll be taking a look at a few helpful tips on how to fight the common cold, so that you can recover and get back to your old self in no time at all.
1) Use humidity
If you’ve ever shared a steam room with somebody suffering with a cold, unfortunately there is a good chance that you yourself will have caught the virus from them, as the excess humidity can cause the germs to exit your body via your sweat pores, and then become airborne so that they can infect the next poor individual that comes across them. Out of respect to other people, you ideally shouldn’t use stream rooms with other people as they would stand a much greater risk of picking up the virus. If you do have access to an empty steam room, or even if you have a hot bath that fills the room with hot steam, this can cause your pores to open up, which would then help the germs to leave your body via your sweat, so that you can literally sweat away the cold.
2) Blow your nose regularly
Common colds are pretty disgusting, there’s no getting around that, and we all know that when we suffer with a cold, we need to blow our noses to clear away all of the mucus that has built up in our nasal passages. You see a lot of people with colds, constantly sniffing, which basically causes them to sniff the mucus back into their heads. This mucus will contain germs and may be infected, so you will need it out of your body, which is why you should blow your nose. Once you have blown your nose, you should notice that pressure around your sinuses feels a little better, and that you may be able to smell a little easier. Once you have blown your nose, carefully dispose of the tissue so that other people don’t catch your germs, and make sure that you wash your hands. Also, as disgusting as it sounds, you should also pay attention to the mucus that comes out of your nose. If it is clear, this is a good sign as it shows there is no infection. If however, it is green, or even brown, this is a sign of infection.
3) Get plenty of rest
When you have a cold, it’s easy for other people to get on at you and tell you that you’re being dramatic etc, but in reality, the reason why you constantly feel tired and don’t want to do very much when you have a cold, is because your body medically needs the rest. By resting and not exerting yourself, your body is able to direct the majority of its energy to your immune system, which will help to strengthen and boost it. Your immune system is your body’s first and last line of defence against illnesses, diseases, and conditions such as the common cold, so doing all that you can to help ensure it is strong and running efficiently is absolutely essential. The reason why you feel so drained, physically and mentally, is because inside, your immune system is working hard to fight off the illness and restore you back to health. To give your immune system a helping hand, kick back, relax, try to get plenty of sleep, and let it concentrate on doing what it does best.
4) Vitamin C supplements
When people suffer with a cold, one of the first things they do is reach for the vitamin C supplements, and rightfully so. Vitamin C is arguably the most beneficial vitamin in regards to immunity, as the immune system works incredibly efficiently when it is supplied with plenty of this vitamin. There are a number of foods that are naturally rich in this vitamin, which we will get to shortly, but to make life even easier, vitamin C supplements come very highly recommended. These supplements come in varying degrees of strength, but for best results, look for mgs of around 1000.
5) Fresh fruits and vegetables
As previously mentioned, vitamin C is one of the most beneficial vitamins for the immune system, and therefore, for fighting off common colds and other ailments, but even so, all of the other vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables can also help to really strengthen and boost the immune system to get it back to its absolute best. As well as bulking out each meal with plenty of fresh fruit and veg, you may wish to consider investing in a juicer or a powerful blender, so that you can juice and/or blend your veggies to make delicious beverages. There are several benefits to doing this, including the fact that, first off, you are consuming these ingredients in their raw state, which means that they contain more nutrients, and secondly, it is much easier to drink a juice packed full of 5 – 10 portions of fruits and veggies, than it would be to eat them all in their whole form.
6) Warm liquids
One very unpleasant side effect associated with a common cold, is the fact that it causes you to suffer from a sore throat, that can make swallowing a very unpleasant ordeal. On top of that, dehydration is also a common side effect of suffering with a cold, which can leave you feeling weak and suffering from a headache. If you drink warm liquids however, the warm liquid soothes the throat by helping to reduce inflammation in the membranes of the throat and nasal passage. One of the most popular homemade remedies for a cold, is a glass of hot water, a generous squeeze of lemon juice, and a teaspoon of honey. This beverage soothes the throat thanks to the thick viscous honey, whereas the lemon provides powerful antioxidants and vitamins, that get to work on boosting the immune system.
7) Gargle with salt water or antiseptic solutions
As mentioned, one of the worst things about a cold, especially in the early stages of the cold, is that it can cause you to suffer from a sore throat that can make you feel pretty miserable and in a fair amount of pain in the process. To help fight infection and to ease the pain, try gargling with a glass of warm water and salt, or, with a glass of specially designed antiseptic solution. Not only can this ease the pain, it can also help fight the infection, and it can help to prevent further infections from setting in as well.
8) Cut back on smoking, or quit altogether
We all know just how unhealthy smoking can be, and that is putting things mildly, and so if the prospect of suffering from cancer, and possibly even dying due to smoking, isn’t enough to make you quit, you may wish to cut back on them whilst suffering with your cold. The reason for this is the fact that the smoke and all of the chemicals that you inhale into your lungs with each breath you take in, can actually irritate the lungs and your respiratory system, which can prolong your cough and cold, and can also put you at risk of any further respiratory infections setting in. On top of that, smoking weakens the immune system, and, as the immune system is what is responsible for fighting your cold and hopefully getting you back to your old self, the weaker the immune system becomes, the harder your body will find it to make a recovery from the cold that you’re suffering from.