It is that time of year again… the time when everyone seems to be coughing or sneezing or just downright sick. When everyone it seems like there is a countdown clock just ticking away until you are sick yourself. If you find yourself sick, like I am writing this, then you can use the tips below to help speed up the process.
Consume Extra Fluids
When you are sick, you can lose a lot of fluids through sinus drainage and other less desirable routes. It is important to replace the fluids you are losing with water. If you have really lost a lot of fluids, drinks with electrolytes are a great option as well as juices in small amounts.
Expose Your Body to Humidity
This may seem counterintuitive if your are stuffed up, but have you ever noticed when you take a really hot shower you seem to breathe a little easier? That’s because it helps add moisture to your nose and throat allowing you to breathe easier. If you aren’t up for a hot shower and don’t have a humidifier lying around, I’m about to share my at home humidifier/facial set up. Boil a large pot of water on the stove and then cover around your head with a towel or blanket to trap the steam in. This is a great way to regain moisture in both your skin and breathing passageways!
Eat Immunity Boosting Foods
This tip is better when used preventatively, but it can’t hurt. Sorry to tell you but that old age tip to consume a bunch or vitamin C when you are sick isn’t the nugget of gold we all thought it was. Consuming added vitamin C is best when done when consumed when the first signs of illness arise such as a cough. In fact most of these foods/nutrients I am going to mention are best used preventatively.
Vitamin A helps to regulate the immune system and protect against pathogens. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, and fortified milk and cereals are a good sources.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can also be found in fortified cereals, nuts, and seeds.
Consuming enough protein is important for healing purposes to recover faster. Protein is obviously found in meat, but it is good to vary your sources and types of protein. Other options include eggs, nuts, seeds, beans, and soy products.
Zinc is another nutrient that is helpful in recovery and healing. You can find zinc in sources of protein and dairy.
Get More Sleep
I don’t know what person, sick or not, would object to a little extra sleep. Sleep is super beneficial because it can boost your immune system to fight off the infection. This is largely because during sleep you body is able to create a better fever response because you aren’t actively using energy moving around and such. A fever is actually a good think because it allows your body to fight off more pathogens (the bad guys making you feel like crap).
Sitting around and sleeping a ton means you aren’t moving your body a whole lot. This may just be a person thing, but I find when I stretch it helps me, especially my muscles, to feel a lot better. And let me tell you, after being down with the flu for a week or so, your muscles feel like jello attaches to 100 lb weights. It’s not a fun time. Around the third day of having the flu, I just felt so sore that I decided to stretch while in bed and then a little more when I got out of bed. Let me tell you it made a big difference for me!