As the weather cools, our chances of catching the common cold increase.
According to WebMD, we’re more likely to get colds in the winter because our internal body temperatures drop when we’re exposed to cold air; consequently, our immune systems become less able to fight cold-causing viruses.
Fortunately, if you feel a cold coming on, there are several things you can do to stop it in its tracks. Here are some tips for kicking your cold in just five days.
Take a probiotic. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your body, especially your digestive system. They’ve been known to shorten colds and lessen their symptoms.
Use a saline rinse. Squirt saline nasal spray three times a day to help flush out that virus.
Pop some zinc. Zinc lozenges can soothe the early symptoms of a cold, especially a scratchy throat.
Get some zzzs. A lack of rest prevents your immune system from working effectively.
Exercise. If you feel up to it, a 30- to 60-minute workout will do wonders for raising your body temperature, which can help burn out the virus. (Remember, a lowered internal body temperature is what caused you to get sick in the first place!) However, if you already have a fever, you don’t need to work out — it may cause you to feel worse.
Try some turmeric. This bright yellow spice, which is often used in Indian food, has a wide range of health benefits. It can improve cognitive function, lessen the severity of some digestive disorders and yes, slow down or even stop the cold virus. (Believe it or not, it can also whiten teeth, reduce acne scars and zap facial hair!)
Stretch. Going for a long walk or doing some yoga will help circulate your white blood cells, allowing your body to effectively fight what’s left of your cold.
Don’t blow. The temptation to reach for the tissues may be overpowering, but blowing your nose nonstop will just irritate it. Squirt a little saline spray before you blow, which will soften the mucus and make it easier to dislodge.
Spot-treat. Reduce your remaining symptoms by treating them individually — hot tea and honey for a cough, antihistamines for a runny nose, etc. You don’t need to use cold medicine at this stage, as there should barely be any cold left!