Feel a cold coming on? Here’s what to do
‘Tis the season of sore throats, running noses and serious sneezing spells. If you feel a cold creeping in, taking quick action might just stop it in its tracks.
It always has to happen at Christmas time, doesn’t it? That cold that’s been going around – the one you’ve managed to avoid for weeks – it’s finally found its way to your respiratory tract and the symptoms are starting to show. But before you resign yourself to a day in bed, have a go at ridding yourself of the virus straight away. These simple tricks will help lessen your symptoms, or might even eliminate them completely.
Take a steamy shower
A hot shower is a great way to hydrate your sinuses and help clear blocked nasal passages. Leave the bathroom fan off to make sure the room gets extra steamy, and be sure to take lots of big, deep breaths.
Go big on vitamin C
Even if you’re a daily orange juice drinker, cold season is the time to reach for the vitamin C. Pick up some fizzing immune support tablets from the supermarket, add them to a glass of water and drink the tangy concoction once a day.
Fill up on fluids
Drink plenty of fluids, water most importantly, to naturally reduce congestion and help your kidneys and liver flush out waste. Take a water bottle with you everywhere to remind yourself to stay hydrated.
Feed your immune system
Certain foods are known for their immune-boosting power, including: garlic, blueberries, beetroot, cranberries, carrots and ginger. With anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties, these natural ingredients will help your body form a strong defence against an approaching cold.
Go to bed early
Extra sleep will go a long way toward warding off a cold. When your immune system is working to fight an infection, you need even more rest than usual. Try getting some shut-eye an hour earlier than your usual bedtime.
Try a saline spray
The Mayo Clinic recommends saline drops and nasal sprays over decongestants, as they don’t cause symptoms to come back stronger when you stop using them. Saline is also gentler than other medications, as the salty solution helps liquefy blockage and wash away congestion without any artificial ingredients.
Gargle salt water
Gargling a glass of concentrated salt water may not leave the best taste in your mouth, but it will help a sore throat. The salt creates a less-friendly environment for bacteria, easing your symptoms or stopping them completely.
Use a humidifier
There’s nothing more frustrating than an itchy, tickly cough that just won’t let up. Turning on a humidifier, especially at night, will add moisture to the air you breathe in. This will help lubricate your respiratory tract and calm irritation in your ears, nose and throat. A humidifier is particularly useful if you like to crank the central heating in the winter, as it combats the otherwise dry air caused by toasty radiators.
What are your best cold prevention tactics?
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