No one likes being ill do they? Well ok, maybe some people do, but I certainly donâ€™t and I imagine you probably donâ€™t either. So when you do feel a cold coming on, what can you do to stop it? And how can you make sure you never get another one?
Image Credit: Flu Mask
Well the truth is that you canâ€™t stop yourself from ever being sick
But you can do a lot to boost your natural defences and better natural defences mean you donâ€™t get sick as often and you get better much more quickly when illness does strike. Like the sounds of that? Great, letâ€™s get started shall we?
Your Immune System
The first step to being sickness proof is improving your immune system. Unfortunately, if you are ill right now, itâ€™s probably too late, but a few positive changes will at least make you stronger so that you are let likely to get a cold again anytime soon.
You probably wonâ€™t be terribly surprised to learn that smoking is bad for you, but did you know that it is bad for your immune system? Thatâ€™s right, if you quit smoking your immune system will start to recover and you may well find you get sick less.
Get More Exercise
Exercise helps to get rid of stress and helps improve blood flow, which indirectly help your immune system to function better anyway. But on top of that, regular exercise actually boosts anti-bodies and has been shown to lower the frequency of colds and flu.
Get Your Vitamins
Your body needs all sorts of vitamins to function properly, as well as minerals such as iron. Being deficient in any one may make your immune system weaker than it could be.
Vitamin C is well known for being related to immune function, but they all matter and even being deficient in other less important vitamins might make you less energetic and hence less active, which can further hurt your immune system.
In other words, eat well and play lots and youâ€™ll be happier and healthier!
Get Out More
Interestingly, studies have shown that people who are more social get sick less and recover faster. You might assume that being around people increases your chances of catching a virus, but it seems that the positive benefits (possibly related to stress relief and esteem) offset this.
Take Some Herbs
Certain herbs such as echinacea, eleuthero, ginseng and even some types of mushroom have been shown to contain chemicals which actually enhance immune function. These herbs are best taken raw, as heat can damage the active chemicals.
As kids we spend lots of time eating mud, not washing our hands and generally being gross and thatâ€™s great for our immune systems â€“ it gives our bodies the chance to meet new germs and learn to fight them better.
Image Credit: Child Playing In Sand
Many experts believe that being in too sanitary environment may actually be bad for us, as it takes the emphasis off of our immune systems and we miss out on that opportunity. So maybe being a little unhygienic occasionally is a good thing!
When Cold Strikes
If you follow all of the tips above you should have a strong, healthy immune system and you probably wonâ€™t get ill as often anyway, but when colds do strike there are still things you can do to help with the recovery process.
Relax & De-stress
Fighting a virus takes a lot of work you know, thatâ€™s why we feel run down during a cold, because our bodyâ€™s resources are being used on chemical warfare. Working through a cold is a false economy because it just makes the cold last longer.
Instead, take a day off, relax and let your stress melt away, that way your body can put all of its energy into getting better.
Get Lets Of Sleep
This goes hand in hand with the previous point really. You canâ€™t get much more relaxed than when your asleep. So chill out, take your vitamins and go to bed!