Sniffles, sore throat, persistent cough?
Colds are very common in the winter and are a real nuisance – even if they’re only harmless. It becomes problematic when the sniffling or scratchy throat never ends. Here are a few facts and what you can do about it:
What is a cold?
We speak of colds or flu-like infections (but beware: a real flu is something else) when the mucous membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes are irritated or inflamed. The individual well-being can be very different. Those who continue to feel reasonably well can go to work or sports without any problems. If you are experiencing general fatigue, a fever and aching limbs might come along, and it is better to stay in bed. A typical cold lasts 2-14 days depending on the individual immune system and the strength of the virus. There are about 200 different cold viruses, which are also constantly changing. This makes the question of a vaccination superfluous, because it is almost impossible to develop a suitable serum that will eradicate all the bad viruses.
So, what can we do?
Leave the medicine in the cabinet, and let’s stick with the homemade remedies and truisms grandma has told us about.
Ever thought about how many people have touched the same handle or held onto the same bar on the subway today? Exactly! So, it’s best to wash your hands several times a day with warm water and soap; also pay attention to the spaces between your fingers.
A simple but effective tool is getting enough sleep! If the immune system is weakened, the only thing that helps is resting and giving the body a break. Then it can gather new strength and doesn’t have to spend what little energy it has on the many other things we had planned for the day.
At least half an hour of exercise in the fresh air every day can work wonders. It doesn’t matter whether it’s storming or snowing, if you move around and get your heart rate up often, you’ll demonstrably develop more resistance. Make sure you dress warmly enough so that you don’t start to shiver.
4. Stay Hydrated
The body needs plenty of fluids especially in the winter, despite us not feeling as thirsty or hot during this season. Warm drinks work best, so that the body does not need energy to warm up. By the way, herbal teas offer antibacterial and -viral oils. Just like the good old chicken broth.
Regular sauna sessions keep you fit. The strong hot/cold alternation with a hot sauna followed by a cold shower hardens and also strengthens the circulation. In this case, wellness as an alternative to sports works exceptionally well. However, if you already have a cold, you should avoid the sauna.
No joke, but immunologists actually recommend sex against the common cold! On the one hand, because of this the body comes into contact with foreign germs that train the immune system. For another, a study with male subjects in Zurich showed that the number of good “killer cells” almost doubled after an orgasm.
Edited and translated by April Verite.