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Tips to chase away a cold at the first sign of symptoms

This can be a tough time of year in terms of getting sick, so if you want to steer clear of feeling crummy and becoming bedridden, take a look at these tips for chasing away your virus as soon as you notice it settling in.

woman with a cold

You’re likely familiar with the symptoms of a cold right from the start. For some it’s a tickling in the throat that quickly progresses to soreness. For others it’s a frustrating cough or a touch of nasal congestion. Whatever it is, the important thing is that you do what you can to get rid of the virus before it has a chance to settle in for days or weeks.

Sleep it off

isolated eye mask

It’s easy to get caught up in everything you have to do and put sleep on the back burner, but not giving your body enough time to rest each night weakens your immune system and makes you prone to getting sick, and if you already have a virus, it will stick around for a longer time. Vicks reports that 81 per cent of adults surveyed in the United States agreed that sleeping is the most important thing to do to help your body get over a cold. So if you start to feel that tickle in your throat or stuffiness in your nose, hit the sack a few hours early that night. Not convinced you can afford to take the time for more sleep? Just think about how much time you’ll waste being drowsy and fatigued when the cold sets in for real. Act quickly, and hop into bed — you’ll be thankful you did later.

Eat well

On an average day you might be inclined to reach for a handful of chips or a chocolate bar instead of the healthier options you know you should consume, but when it comes to the prospect of spending weeks with a sore throat, searing headache and brutal chest cough, you may find the motivation comes a little more easily. So when you feel the first sign of symptoms coming on, throw aside any plans you had for frozen dinners or junk food, and make yourself a fully loaded salad. Spare no expense in tracking down leafy greens such as spinach, kale and arugula, and pair them with vibrant vegetables such as bell peppers, tomatoes, red onions, shredded carrots and broccoli to create a fresh salad. Sprinkle on a splash of salad dressing, and enjoy. But don’t stop there. Make sure every meal for the next few days incorporates fruits and vegetables to give your body all the vitamins and minerals it needs to heal itself. Start your day with a fresh smoothie; have apples, pears, berries and sliced veggies as snacks; and stir-fry vegetables or mix up another salad for lunch and dinner. Give your body as many nutrients as possible until the symptoms subside and for a few days afterward.

Boost your immune system

Although enough can’t be said about the benefits of boosting your immune system in natural ways (such as eating a healthy diet, getting adequate rest, etc.), some products can also help your body fight off a virus. Cold-Fx Extra, for example, claims to enhance the immune system’s viral-fighting natural killer cells and macrophages. This can help to decrease the frequency, severity and duration of cold symptoms. And let’s face it: When your body is up against the cold virus, it can use all the help it can get.

Stick with it

Unfortunately, sometimes a virus is too strong to be eradicated even if you do act quickly, but that doesn’t mean you should give up. By taking proper care of yourself, you can greatly reduce the length of time and the degree to which you’re affected by the virus. So give your body all the support it needs to eliminate that cold from its system from the moment you spot symptoms until well after they’re gone.

More health tips

Ways to make having a cold easier
How to keep colds at bay this winter
Colds vs. the flu: What you should know

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