4 Ways to Cut the Duration of Your Cold

cold-and-flu
At our house, back to school means back to kids bringing home germs. When the leaves start turning, I start reaching for my cough drops, feeling that all too familiar tickle in my throat. If I can, I try to drink tons of water, wash my hands like crazy, and keep the bug from taking hold. But once I know I’m past the point of no return, the following things can help cut the duration of my cold and get me back to my busy life.

Do you know how to tell the difference between a cold and a flu virus?

Sleep Helps You Heal

You probably know this already: one of you body’s first ways of signaling that all is not right internally is to make you very tired and sluggish. Don’t fight this feeling! Take a day or two off of work, if need be. Sleeping early and often during a cold can significantly cut the duration and intensity of a common cold. Sleeping allows your body to rest and recuperate—taking 10 hours of rest now could save you days down the line. Chances are you’ll pass out right away, but if you have trouble getting good sleep (particularly if your cold symptoms include coughing and congestion) put yourself in a dark, cool room with a white noise machine and a high-quality humidifier.

Avoid catchall cold medications that are high in alcohol. Even though these drugs might seem like they’re helping you pass out, what you need is good quality, REM sleep. Alcohol can disrupt your natural, restorative sleep patterns and leave you feeling groggy. If you’re certain you need some assistance with sleeping, some people swear by melatonin as a natural sleep aid.

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Exercise (Even If You Don’t Feel Like It)

So, you’ve succumbed to a cold, you’ve slept a solid 8 hours and you’re still feeling under the weather. You should definitely skip your workout today, right? Wrong! Even though the LAST thing you probably feel like doing is slogging through your exercise routine, you don’t want to flake out altogether. Movement and respiration actually speed up the healing process (doctors believe working out causes immune cells to respond to and attack viruses at a faster rate). But instead of doing your normal intensity workout, try doing light cardio such as walking or even speed walking. Listen to your body—if it feels like you can do more, push yourself a little. If you fell like you want to die, dial it back. And of course, it’s not polite to spread germs at the gym, so taking a walk outdoors or at least avoiding a community treadmill is much appreciated.

Give Zinc a Chance

Zinc, which helps boost the immune system, can shorten the duration of the common cold by nearly 50 percent. Studies have not been able to show exactly how Zinc fights the common cold, but research shows that it does work. Zinc has antiviral properties and provides relief from some common cold symptoms such as sore throat. Zinc in lozenge form is the most convenient to use while you have a cold, and it’s available online or at most drugstores.

Studies show that Zinc supplements could also help keep your immune system strong while you’re healthy, potentially staving off more colds. You might think about incorporating these supplements into your everyday vitamin routine.

Remember, Time Heals All

Though it can sometimes feel like your cold will last forever, remember that even if none of the above seems to be helping, your cold will eventually go away. If your symptoms persist for more than 10 days or seem to be intensifying, you should visit your doctor to get a professional assessment.

Pamela Bofferding is a native Texan who now lives with her husband and sons in New York City. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and playing with her dogs.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published October 26th, 2016
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  • L. A. McDonough

    lots of water, lemon (fresh) along with hot tea, probiotics stay away from dairy during a cold.

  • mothman777

    Zinc lozenges are extremely caustic, as I saw my gums white and burned and receded in the exact place zinc lozenges had been after placing zinc lozenges between my cheek and gum, having repeated this two or three times a day with one lozenge each time for a couple of days.

    Use propolis instead, which is extremely effective in stopping itchy throat and coughs, 500 mg a day, also 5,000 iu Vit D3 a day, maintaining good Vit K2 level at same time to ensure calcium goes into bones and not arteries, and at least 1 gram Vit C a day, and you will never get colds or flu, or if one starts to touch you, it will be over very soon indeed without taking hold. To help clear lungs of infections and alleviate asthma, take 3 drops of food grade oregano oil on your tongue, then drink it down with water or juice.

  • Jimmy Yost

    This stupid article falls way short of the truth, which is that the most powerful medicinal antidote to any cold virus or bacteria is Vitamin C (10 g. per day when you’re sick, 3 g. per day as a maintenance dose). The second most powerful medicinal antidote is Golden Seal Root Powder (can be obtained in capsules). The third most powerful medicinal antidote is Echinacea (can also be obtained in capsules, also in combo with Golden Seal). The fourth most powerful medicinal antidote is zinc (100 mg. per day when you’re sick, 50 mg. per day as a maintenance dose). Then there is another really good antidote which is the Hulda Clark Zapper (can be purchased online). It works better than most people would ever think. But the best antidote of all is praying to the Lord for healing (it really does work).

    • mothman777

      50 mg zinc supplementation long term will act to prevent copper being absorbed, resulting in non-elasticity and breakages of blood vessels in the heart and brain, resulting in strokes, heart attacks, and death.

      For an example of what can happen, one poultry farmer found he could boost the growth rate of his Turkeys by giving them large zinc supplements (without copper) many years ago, and 96% of them died of heart attacks or burst blood vessels in the brain within 6 months. So avoid all those expensive supplements that contain just 50 mg zinc, they are a death trap, and even Solgar sell them.

      You need around 1.5 mg copper, some say 1.2 mg, some say slightly more, up to 2 mg, for every 15 mg zinc in your diet. These days though I try to use only food state vitamins, and the brand I use has enough natural zinc and copper in anyway. Another option is to supplement with copper at a different time than a zinc supplement is taken.

      Both metals are antagonistic to each other, preventing the absorption of each other, at least in synthetic form, and even tea and coffee consumed with a meal reduces absorption of various minerals by 50-60%. Maybe the natural food state minerals do not have this problem, but foods like chick peas (Garbanzo Beans) are rich in copper and zinc anyway, and they are great soaked overnight, eaten raw the next day with yoghurt, black pepper, and maybe a little lemon juice, or any other way you like them. That is a typical Indian recipe anyway, nice and crunchy at breakfast time, full of prana and highly invigourating, though maybe the lemon juice can be left out as it erodes dental enamel too quickly.

  • I’ve been starting to take a lot of zinc and get more sleep as the seasons start to change. So far, I’ve only had a mild cold that’s lasted a day or two. This is a great list of tips that’s always a good reminder of things you can do to avoid those mild sick days.

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