Tips For Fighting Your Cold

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It’s that time of year again! The leaves are changing and cold is in the air. I’m not just talking temperature, but disease. Unfortunately, along with apple picking and football comes an increased chance of catching a cold. Everyone is well aware of how annoying a cold can be and it's not always easy to shake-them-off. Let’s go over some at-home remedies to battle these symptoms this fall. The best defense is a great offense. By making smart lifestyle choices you can greatly increase your chances of avoiding getting sick in the first place! To bolster your health levels, be sure to incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Besides the obvious benefits, regular exercise can work to keep nasal passages from blocking. It is also suggested to make sure you do not have a vitamin C deficiency. To avoid this, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables into your diet. In addition, drinking plenty of water may seem like straight-forward advice. However, most people still fail to do so. Bring a water bottle with you wherever you go and make a conscious effort to sip periodically. Before you know it, this will become automatic for you! Maybe it’s too little too late for you and you have come down with some cold and flu symptoms already. Let’s take the fight to them!   REST. REST. REST. You may be saying, “Well that’s obvious”. The problem is, people simply do not rest enough. When you’re sick and you feel even the slightest bit tired, it is imperative you listen to your body. Take frequent naps and try for a 12-hour sleep overnight. Your body does its battling when sleeping. Be sure to send in the troops as often as possible by hitting the pillow!   Hot or Cold Therapy Depending on your personal preference, applying hot or cold therapy to congested sinuses can be extremely beneficial in easing pain and inflammation caused by cold and flu symptoms. Using gel packs that can be heated or frozen makes for an effective and targeted method for relief. Alternatively, for heat therapy you can use a damp washcloth heated in the microwave for around 50 seconds (test for safety before applying to skin). For cold therapy you can apply a bag of frozen vegetables.   Add a Pillow When sleeping or resting, it is recommended you add an additional pillow below your head. This will help with the overall drainage of nasal passages. It is important to keep your head elevated to achieve this. If the use of two pillows under your head is too much on your neck, try placing a pillow, blanket, or other similar items under the mattress to get a more gradual incline!   Blow Your Nose! Getting that mucus out of your nose is crucial to recovering from your cold. Believe it or not, there is a right way and a wrong way to blow your nose. Turns out, we’ve been doing it all wrong. The recommended method of blowing your nose is to cover one nostril and gently blow through the other. Most people tend to blow their nose hard. This is not recommended as it can cause earaches and other ailments. Whenever you have the sniffles, blow your nose. Fight the urge to sniff mucus back into your head and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after blowing your nose.   Get Steamy Hot showers can work wonders for cold and flu symptoms. The steam will relax you and effectively moisturize your nasal passages. This will break-up mucus and make for a faster recovery! To take steam therapy to the next level, follow these simple instructions. Boil water in a lidded pot for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid and place your head over the pot while draping a towel over your head to guide the steam to the desired area. Do this for about 15 minutes as often as possible during the day!   Hot Liquids The benefits of hot liquids such as teas and soups are threefold. They will work to relieve congestion in the nasal passages while helping to prevent dehydration. They will also soothe inflammation in membranes within the linings of your throat and nose. This is another tip that may seem obvious, but it is crucial that you make a conscious effort to consume these liquids. It is too easy to avoid it and assume cold water is enough. Don’t make that mistake and get some hot beverages as well!   For a Sore Throat - - - Get To Gargling One of the best methods for fighting a sore or scratchy throat is to gargle. This can work to moisten the throat as well as bring some temporary relief. For the best results, be sure to throw in at least a teaspoon of salt into some warm water. Do this as often as possible, but at least 4 times a day. In addition, it is recommended you drink sparkling water or club soda at least 3 times per day. These are just a handful of methods you can use at home to fight common cold and flu-like symptoms. Feel free to explore the sources below to learn more about how you can get back to your healthy self! However, it is always best to consult your doctor for best practices to address your personal health issues.   By Pat DeRiso Sources: webmd.com, PainHealthWeb

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