Runny nose, cough, sore throat, the season is upon us again. A lot of people reach for the pill right when the first symptoms hit. The natural way is often more effective, though. How to fight off a cold (for good)?
Just to clarify: I get sick very rarely, usually it’s a bit of a sore throat and it never gets worse (knock on wood). I try to stay away from pills as much as possible, I don’t want them in my body if it’s not serious. Last time I had medication was when I flew to Las Palmas (and before that about 4 years nothing) and only because I was a bit scared that I have tonsilitis and I had a 10 hours travel ahead of me (train, minibus, airplane), alone, therefore I didn’t want it to get worse. After taking the pill and realizing it only anaesthetized my throat in a very weird way, I knew that I’m not going to have one for a long time again. In a few days I was fit again even without them.
So what are the rules that I follow?
1. Healthy Eating
Your gut flora is extremely important for your immune system, that’s a fact. Therefore it’s given that when you eat processed food not rich in vitamins and minerals, your immune system is not going to be as strong as it could be. That’s why you need to load on veggies and fruit, especially in fall and winter. You can try this Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Sweet Potatoes or Spicy Ginger Kale Chips. Delicious ways how to boost your veggies intake!
2. Heat your body up from the inside
I’m talking drinks AND food. It’s winter, it’s cold that means I’m putting away all of the smoothies and juices I was enjoying over the summer. I substitute these brekfast options with Banana Porridge and 2-Ingredient Healthy Pancakes. Every morning before breakfast I also drink warm water to start the metabolism and I continue driking warm beverages (water or tea) throughout the whole day.
3. LOTS of Ginger
Ginger is a miracle. Whenever I start to have a sore throat / runny nose / whatever else, I make ginger tea. I grate (more effective) / cut into pieces (quicker) ginger and mix it with lemon juice (usually I just cut a piece of lemon and put it into a tea pot) and add at least one tablespoon of honey. I drink it all the time.
4. Proper Rest
Before starting yoga I was being sick only in one case. When I was over exercising. It was usually when “starting out” my training regime again: I trained for 2 months, then I stopped, had a 3-month pause and then start again from scratch – does it ring a bell? (wink wink) I was pumped up to start moving and I overdid it. And ups, I was sick, obviously! It’s logical, it’s too much for your body and it cannot handle it anymore and it’s its only option how to stop you from hurting yourself more.
Practice and train what fits you. Rather less everyday than to train for an hour two times a week. Don’t forget to get enough sleep. Whenever I sleep less than 8 hours, I can feel the deficit (but the hours are very individual).
5. Stay in bed
If you have a cold after all, there’s nothing else you can do than stay in bed and wait. Forget yoga lessons, running, long walks. It doesn’t mean you have to give up movement all together but you have to know what’s too much for you and what can actually help – like a very easy yoga stretch. If it’s not anything serious (and in most cases it’s not), it should take around 3-6 days and trust me, it’s going to take as long with medication. Make lots of ginger tea, dress properly and stay away from any hard physical activity. Take it as a warning signal from your body to stop for a moment and think about what you did wrong. Maybe you had a lot of stress at work, too much physical activity, not enough rest, bad eating? Usually it’s a combination of all factors. Work on getting better one by one, with patience.
I hope you will find these tips useful! How do you cope?