How to combat cold symptoms in 24 hours

November 7, 2015
Oranges are rich in vitamin C which helps us get over a colder quicker. 

When the weather turns cold in wintertime many people experience certain cold symptoms that prevent them from performing normal daily activities. These symptoms also make them feel tired to the point of wanting to stay in bed all day. When the weather’s cold, your immune system weakens. That makes you more likely to suffer from flues, colds, coughs, or muscle pain, among other conditions.

Also Read: 4 Soups to Prevent Colds

That being said, you must be prepared to confront these cold days and try to adopt a routine that allows you to stand strong against any health problem that may occur as a result of the change in season. Professor Ron Eccles of the Common Cold Centre at the University of Cardiff (UK), offers a routine to help fight the cold symptoms brought on by cold weather and to overcome them in just 24 hours.

7:00 a.m. – take a hot shower to reduce cold symptoms

If, because of the cold, you woke up with a very sore feeling in your joints and even feel a headache starting, a hot shower may be the best way to start the day. Hot water helps you relax and the steam helps clear the paranasal sinuses to avoid congestion  and other problems such as sinusitis.

Read Also: Breakfast to Get Rid of Morning Headaches

8:00 a.m. – a healthy breakfast

vegetable-soup-quinoa-500x323

Good nutrition is essential in the process of recovery from colds. Breakfast is key to start the day well and fight the aggravating cold symptoms. You can drink a natural orange juice and eat a cup of berries rich in antioxidants with some oats for added energy. Another good option is to start your day with a breakfast of vegetable soup or chicken broth.

10:00 a.m. – vapor treatment

Having a cold means our nose is congested and we have excess mucus, which prevent us from breathing normally. When the paranasal sinuses are blocked, we are likely to suffer sinusitis, which comes with a terrible headache. In this case it’s good to take an over-the-counter medicine or a natural remedy for decongestion. You can also apply a vapor treatment by placing your head over a bowl of boiling water and covering it with a towel for 5 minutes. This is ideal to soothe and clear the airways.

Around noon – go for a walk

daily-walk

Although it seems like a challenge to brave the cold outdoors, the fact is that a walk before lunch can help improve our mood and boost the immune system. Therefore, don’t think that you’re harming your body if you go out when you have a cold. A little walk could be very helpful (but dress appropriately, of course).

1:00 p.m. – lunchtime

Instead of eating fried foods and other unhealthy foods for lunch, it is ideal that you prepare some grilled chicken with a salad. The proteins in chicken help produce immune cells and boost the immune response. Meanwhile, the vegetables in your salad are rich in antioxidants and nutrients which are essential to fight colds.

3:00 p.m. – a healthy drink

Orange

For an afternoon snack, it’s best to drink a hot herbal tea to thin the mucus and help to expel it easily. You can also substitute the tea for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, for its high content of Vitamin C is good for the cold recovery process.

6:00 p.m. – dinnertime

At dinnertime, it’s a good idea to eat spicy foods like curry or chili con carne. Other ingredients that you can consider incorporating into your dinner are ginger, garlic and peppers, which are known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties, which help you fight the cold and clear the paranasal sinuses.

8:00 p.m. – a relaxing bath

Relaxing-bath

At the end of the day it’s quite likely that you’ll feel tired and have sore muscles because of the cold. To sleep well and relax your muscles, it’s a good idea to take a hot bath an hour or two before bedtime. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the bath water which will enhance its effects against the cold symptoms.

10:00 p.m. – time to rest and sleep eight hours

It’s important to go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep in order to quickly regain your strength. A good night’s sleep strengthens the immune system and helps fight cold symptoms. You should avoid drinking beverages such as coffee or alcohol before going to sleep, as these may disrupt your sleep.

Eccles, R., Dicpinigaitis, P., Turner, R. B., Druce, H. M., Adeleke, M., & Mann, A. L. (2016). Characterization of urge to cough and cough symptoms associated with the common cold: results of a US internet survey. Postgraduate Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1080/00325481.2016.1185376

Fashner, J., Ericson, K., & Werner, S. (2012). Treatment of the common cold in children and adults. American Family Physician.

Silva, J., Abebe, W., Sousa, S. M., Duarte, V. G., Machado, M. I. L., & Matos, F. J. A. (2003). Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of essential oils of Eucalyptus. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2003.09.007

Ceylan, E., & Fung, D. Y. C. (2004). Antimicrobial activity of spices. Journal of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-4581.2004.tb00046.x

Hemilä, H., & Chalker, E. (2013). Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4