Sunday, November 28, 2010

How to get rid of a cold

Currently I am sat at home feeling sorry for myself as I have a cold. I usually get about 1 cold per year, which I think is probably a bit lower than average. Since the summer I've been going to the gym several times a week, and making an effort to eat healthily, and I haven't been sick in any way until now. What makes it particularly frustrating at the moment is that I'm not able to exercise at the moment: when you get into the habit of exercise, not doing any can make you feel particularly bad/frustrated!

Anyway, although you may find this to be common sense, or you may disagree with it, here are my thoughts on how to deal with a cold.

1. There is no cure for colds. Theres no magic bullet and almost certainly the vast majority of things that are supposed to get rid of it (e.g. orange juice) probably have hardly any impact beyond either comforting you, or maybe helping you fight the cold purely through your belief that they will (the placebo effect).

2. Vick's 'First Defence', if used early and often will weaken the intensity of the cold and make it last for fewer days. Its quite a vile thing to take, but it does have some effect in frustrating the cold's efforts to take hold.

3. Rest. The body needs as much energy as possible to help fight the cold, so just rest up, and drink lots of fluids.

4. Eat healthily. Now is not the time to be eating junk food to comfort yourself. Plenty of fruit and veg.

5. Two other things that can help: try flushing out your sinuses with luke-warm salt water (the unpleasant way to do it is over a sink, using a cup of salt water, snort it in then suck it through your nose and spit it out into the sink and blow your nose, the slightly easier, if more expensive, way to do it is to use a salt-water nasal spray such as Sterimar). Also, particularly before bedtime, if you are blocked up and having trouble breathing, use a decongestant like Sudafed.

Most colds take around 3 days. Good luck!

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