When you wake up in the morning and you first feel that scratchiness at the back of your throat, the normal reaction for most of us is to breathe a heavy sigh. We all know that this means there’s a serious cold on the way and we all know that this in turn is likely to put us out of action for days on end and to make almost everything we do from this point on completely miserable.
But it ain’t over until the fat lady sings! And if you’re lucky and you act fast it is sometimes possible to stop a cold before it gets into full swing. Here we will look at a few tips to help you stop one in its tracks as soon as you notice the early symptoms…
Rest and Sleep: Your immune system is more effective than any kind of medication in the world and if you let it do its thing it can often work wonders. The best thing to do then for a cold is to simply make sure that your immune system gets the rest it needs and the opportunity to get to work. So if you had plans to play football tonight or to go to the gym then it’s better to take a rain check and to instead stay in and get an early night. This way your energy will be directed towards your immune system and you won’t place your body under more strain than necessary.
Keep Warm: Your immune system also gets more chance to work when you’re warm which is why you’re more likely to catch a cold when you’re spending time outside in the rain. Wrap yourself up in a nice blanket and have some hot soup and you’ll again let your body focus on combating the virus at peak condition.
Stay Hygienic: Another thing that can potentially make it harder for your immune system to work is if it has to deal with more bacteria and germs on top of those it’s already dealing with. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly and to make sure you’re getting some fresh air/are away from other ill people or mouldy parts of your home.
Eat Your Fruit and Veg: Our immune system works by allowing the right chemicals and substances to flow through our blood which can then prove fatal to germs on impact. Many of these substances come from fruit and veg and we all know how important vitamin C is for keeping colds at bay.
Drink Lots of Water: Drinking lots of water is soothing if you’re struggling with a dry throat, but it also helps to tip the odds in your favour in the long term too – by helping to ‘flush out’ germs as well as by ensuring you stay well hydrated and so able to fight germs more effectively.
Use a Mouthwash: If you brush, floss and use a mouthwash you again reduce the amount of bacteria your body is dealing with meaning you stand more chance of driving off that cold.
Avoid Stress: As well as physical stress, psychological stress can also leave you weakened and vulnerable. If you are losing sleep or finding it hard to relax then you need to try and leave your concerns for a while and concentrate on getting better. One way you can do this is by watching a funny film – and actually laughter has been shown to strengthen our immune systems and to reduce stress hormones to a large degree.