Posted January 23, 2017
Scratchy throat, watery eyes, sniffles, sneezing: At the first sign of a cold or a sore throat people reach for over-the-counter medications, cough drops or chicken soup in hopes of shortening the illness. While there isn’t an instant cure, medical experts suggest ways to avoid or cope with the symptoms:
1. Get enough sleep – It’s difficult for your immune system to fight off viruses when you are exhausted.
- Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
- When you start feeling worn out, take the time to rest and recharge.
2. Get regular exercise – Doctors say regular exercise keeps your body strong so it can fight off germs.
- A North Carolina study showed people who exercised at least five days a week had 46 percent fewer colds than those less active. Even when active people did catch a cold virus, they were sick fewer days.
- When stress builds up, people are more prone to sickness. Taking a brisk walk or run is a great way to reduce stress.
3. Eat healthy food – Vegetables and fruits contain disease-fighting vitamins, minerals and nutrients, so eat several servings each day.
- A bowl of chicken soup or a cup of ginger tea can lift spirits while fighting a virus.
4. Take some zinc – Mayo Clinic reports that taking zinc syrup or lozenges within 24 hours of the first signs of a cold may shorten its duration.
- Taking zinc on a regular basis also may cut the number of colds experienced during the year.
- Avoid zinc nasal sprays and consuming too much zinc.
5. Make home remedies – Try natural remedies to reduce sore throat pain:
- Add honey, lemon or peppermint oil to a cup of hot tea.
- Make a hot beverage with chamomile, slippery elm or marshmallow root.
- Mix a warm gargle solution of licorice root, baking soda or salt water.