The average healthy adult can expect to get up to three colds a year, each lasting on average a total of 9 days. The good news is that while modern medicine has no “cure” for the common cold, there are things you can do at the first signs (tickle in the throat, stuffy head, body aches) that will help stop your cold in its tracks, and have you feeling better, faster.
As soon as you feel that first cold symptom:
Start drinking water, juice or tea. Keeping yourself hydrated eases symptoms
like a stuffy nose and sore throat. Add some chicken soup for lunch or dinner,
as research suggests this age-old remedy really does help cold symptoms.
Gargle with salt water. Add a half teaspoon of salt to a glass of warm water
and gargle with the contents. The salt reduces the inflammation in your throat
by drawing out extra water in the tissues, while also helping to clear mucous
and irritants from the back of the throat. This also flushes out bacteria and
Keep your nose clean with a saline nasal spray. According to some studies this
can be helpful clearing the buildup of mucous
Take a hot shower. Spending time in warm moist air helps clear your nasal passages,
relax away aches and pains in the muscles.
Take an over the counter pain relieve like acetaminophen (or whatever your doctor
has told you to use for pain) to ease the aches of the oncoming cold. You might
also try products for runny nose and watery eyes or to clear your sinuses.
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Stop An Oncoming Cold With These 9 Tips Continued…
Skip the over-the-counter cough medication as natural honey works just as well
and tastes a whole lot better. Take one to two tablespoons right from the jar
or added into tea. Skip the zinc lozenges or sprays, there’s not just any conclusive
evidence that they do anything.
Slow down if you can. Your body can fight off the cold virus more effectively
if you’re well rested. If you have to go into work or run into people, keep your
distance. The first few days of a cold are when you’re most likely to pass it
on to others. Once you do get home, be sure to get as good a night’s sleep as
Some light exercise can actually boost the immune system; so if you feel up to
it, try an easy workout.
Eating healthy can help your immune system. Try to choose a dinner that has lots
of proteins from lean meats, fish or beans along with a whole grain side such
as brown rice. Add to that some antioxidant rich veggies and you have a great
healthy meal that will have you satisfied without feeling overloaded.
The next day, if you feel the same, or better, keep taking care of yourself just to be sure that you get rid of the cold for good. If your nagging cold symptoms don’t clear within two weeks, a call to your doctor is in order.
If you wake the morning after feeling worse, have a fever, start vomiting or have a headache that’s getting more intense, call your doctor and get in for a visit. These symptoms can be signs you might have something more than the common cold, like the flu or an infection that could be helped by prompt medical treatment.
To your good health,