The transition from winter to spring brings many things: pretty flower buds, sunnier days, and shorter sleeves and hemlines. However, the drastic day-to-day change in temperature somehow messes up your immune system, the thinking goes, making you more vulnerable to viruses. The mixed season always leads to health problems like cough and common cold
As the weather warms up, people start going out more and becoming more social, and whenever groups of individuals get together and are physically close to one another, cold transmission increases.
Here are some easy remedies to get rid of seasonal sickness:
1. Wash your hands
Most infections are mainly carried in the air and transmitted by the ‘aerosol’ effect when someone sneezes but germs can be transmitted by physical contact and enter the body when infected hands touch vulnerable parts like our eyes, mouths and noses.
Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first. These are all entry points for cold viruses. Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, or shaking hands with other people. Doing so you can reduce the amount of viruses on your hands
2. Drink plenty
Water helps the kidneys function properly and flushes out the toxins that accumulate in our bodies. If you have a cold, being dehydrated makes your mucus drier, thicker, and less able to cope against invading bacteria and viruses. If you have already caught a cold, drinking plenty of fluids will help flush out the infection.
3. Treat congestion with steam
Boil a pot of water and then add essential oils like rosemary or vaporizers to the water. Put the pot on the table and breathe in the steam. Maximize the amount of steam you inhale by using a towel to form a tent over your head and the pot. Inhale the steam for at least 10 minutes or until you get relief.
4. Increase your sleep
When we are sick, we need more sleep in order for our body to rest and repair. Lack of sleep makes us more prone to infection. Most adults require about 8 hours per night when they are healthy. If you are fighting off a cold, you will probably need more. When you are sleepy, that is your body telling you what it needs. Being fully rested will help boost your immune system and enable your body to fight the cold more effectively.
5. Gargle with warm saltwater for itchy, scratchy throat
The warmth will be soothing if your throat is sore from coughing. The salt may also help fight the infection. Mix at least 1/4th of a teaspoon of table salt into a glass of warm water until it is completely dissolved and you no longer see it. If you do not mind the taste of the salt, you can add more to make it stronger. Tip your head back and gargle. Try to gargle for about one minute. Do not swallow the water when you are done because it has many germs from your throat in it. Spit it into the sink instead.
6. Ease breathing difficulties with humidity
If you have a stuffy nose or coughing, it can be very difficult to sleep at night. Try keeping the air in your bedroom moist with a cool-mist humidifier or a vaporizer. The better you sleep the more energy you will have to fight off the virus. If you do not have a humidifier or vaporizer, put a pot of warm water on the radiator and let it slowly evaporate overnight.
7. Natural antibiotics
Add ginger, garlic & onion to your daily diet. These foods in particular have amazing immune-boosting properties that will help to fight colds and flu and provide a boost to a flagging immune system. Good food sources include meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, tofu, black- eyed peas and wheat germ. Add them to soups, salads or even eat them raw. Zinc and Vitamin C make a great cold-busting duo.
8. Keep on moving
Do not underestimate the importance of regular activity, especially in winter. This is one of the best ways to improve your overall health and stay healthy during cold and flu season. Apart from keeping our circulation going, regular moderate exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in our bodies.
Thirty minutes of exercise, three or four times a week, is the best way to boost your immune system but more will actually begin to have the reverse effect.
9. Avoid getting chilled
A low fever will make the air temperature around you feel colder. If you are so cold that you start shivering, this will cost your body energy that it could be using to fight the cold virus. If you have to go to work or school, bundle up with an extra warm layer of clothing like a big sweater. If you can stay home, add an extra blanket to your bed. Try using a hot water bottle or sipping a cup of warm tea if you have trouble getting warm.
10. Take it easy at the gym
The body is already under enough stress and in a state of confusion so just let it rest. Physical activity like running and weightlifting actually breaks down the immune system and can put a lot of additional stress on the body, leaving you more open to getting sick when you are already half way there. A high temperature pulls moisture out of your body. So does a workout. If you get too dried out, it could delay your recovery. Rest gives your body a chance to recover. Your immune system works best when it is not in overdrive.