Nip it in the bud. There are products at the pharmacy, and maybe one in your pantry, that can help you fight a cold if you use them early on. Products like Zicam and Cold-Eeze have good research and anecdotal evidence to support their role in shortening the duration of a cold.
If you'd like a more natural approach, try organic apple cider vinegar. It's a bit like folk-medicine, but many people swear by it and use it at the onset of a cold, or even as a daily tonic to reduce risks of colds. It certainly clears out sinuses and possibly reduces the risk of a long-lasting sinus infection.
Organic Apple Cider Remedy: 2 Tbsp. organic apple cider vinegar in 16 oz. water twice per day. Note, you should NEVER drink vinegar straight as its high acidity can harm your esophagus, so make sure to dilute it with the water. It doesn't taste good, but works well. Plug your nose and drink it down. For a slightly more elaborate recipe or for more information on this tonic, go to apexnutritionllc.com.
Get outside and enjoy some sunshine, fresh air and personal space. Indoor training equipment, family members, co-workers, and household and electronic items are germ factories. During the winter, people tend to stay inside more, train indoors, and get cooped up with other germ-carriers. It's simply not possible to avoid being around running noses and coughs, especially if you have kids at home. The more you can get outside, however, the more you can avoid colds. And although it can be a bad idea to train outside in extremely cold weather, it's often worth it to layer-up and get outside in moderate temps.
Wash your hands and avoid touching your face. You get sick for one reason: germs. Bacteria and viruses make you ill by finding a way into your body through physical contact. Since most of your contact with this germy world occurs through your hands, keep them clean and away from your face. This helps create a barrier between contaminated surfaces and the inside of your body. And while it's obvious to wash your hands more when using public places like restrooms and common work areas, many of your own personal items are the germiest. Cell phones, keyboards and door handles are likely culprits in spreading bacteria and viruses.
Although there's no surefire way to avoid getting sick year round, you can take some steps to reduce your risk. Take care of yourself, eat and drink well, get outside, wash your hands, and nip colds in the bud.
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