When the weather turns cold in wintertime many people experience certain cold symptoms that prevent them from performing their daily activities as they normally do and that also make them feel tired to the point of wanting to stay in bed all day. When the weather is cold, our immune system weakens and makes us more likely to suffer from flu, colds, cough, or muscle pain, among other conditions.
Considering the previous information, we must be prepared to confront these cold days and try to adopt a routine that allows us to stand strong against any health problems that may occur as a result of the change in season. Professor Ron Eccles of the Centre for Common Cold 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
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.
8:00 a.m. – a healthy breakfast
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 is good to take an over-the-counter medicine or a natural remedy for decongestion. You can also make 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
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, do not think that you are 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
For an afternoon snack it is 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 is very good to eat spicy food like curry or chili con carne. These types of foods will help to raise your body temperature and this will contribute to the reduction of cold symptoms. 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 us to fight the cold and clear the paranasal sinuses.
8:00 p.m. – a relaxing bath
At the end of the day it’s quite likely that you will feel tired and have sore muscles because of the cold. To sleep well and relax your muscles, it’s ideal 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 is 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.