Cold and Flu Season – Recommended Best Practices
Brian Roberts Your Central Mass Fat Loss Coach Here…
This time of year the common cold is on the rise. Individuals typically catch between two and four colds a year and there are approximately 200 viruses that can cause the common cold.
Basically a cold is an infection of your nose and throat caused by viruses. Symptoms of the common cold (usually appear one to three days after being exposed to a cold virus) include a runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, sore throat, sneezing, watery eyes, mild headache, mild fatigue, body aches, and fever less than 102 degrees.
The flu (Influenza) is another unpleasant illness that nobody wants to experience. Symptoms of the flu (some are also symptoms of a cold) are: Fever over 100.4 F, aching muscles, chills and sweats, headache, dry & persistent cough, fatigue and weakness, nasal congestion, and sore throat.
In preparation for cold and flu season, here are some suggested best practices and natural remedies for the prevention and treatment of the common cold and flu. Consult your physician first before trying any over-the counter medications.
Although it’s tougher to stick to your Central Mass Fat Loss plan when you are not feeling well, doing so will help you get through it easier.
Encourage proper hand hygiene
Since hands can spread germs from one person to another, or to other surfaces, proper hand hygiene is an essential habit. When hands are dirty, wash with hot water and soap or apply hand sanitizer if water and soap are not available.
Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces
When surfaces are left dirty, they can transfer germs to people and cause illness. High-touch surfaces such as door knobs, handrails, elevator buttons and desks or countertops should be disinfected especially when someone is ill. If you are working when ill (not something I recommend), clean any surface that you (or the ill person has touched) from high to low, from cleanest to dirtiest and from dry to wet.
Water has the ability to help digestion and the absorption of nutrients to benefit overall health. Staying properly hydrated helps the kidneys do their job of balancing electrolytes and filtering waste from the body. If you’re sick and sweating a lot, vomiting or having diarrhea, your body is naturally releasing more liquid. You are losing fluids which can contribute to dehydration. Your body needs to make this up by you drinking more water. Avoid sugary beverages and just stick to water. Drinking water can also help illness by lessening congestion and allowing mucus to be coughed out of the body.
Get extra sleep-time in
You really do need extra sleep when you’re not feeling well because of a cold or the flu. Plain and simple … Sleep helps your body fight the infection that’s causing you to feel ill. The secret is to make sure you’re getting deep sleep, where your body is able to do it’s heavy lifting to protect and restore you. It strengthens the immune system and you’ll fight off the flu better and make a speedier recovery because of it.
In 1968, Linus Pauling, PhD, proposed that 1,000mg of vitamin C daily could reduce the incidence of colds for most people. Since then, vitamin C has become a popular cold remedy.
A number of studies have found that zinc helped to reduce the duration of cold symptoms, especially if people started taking it within 24 hours after cold symptoms appear. Zinc also reduced the severity of symptoms and decreased the duration of symptoms by three to four days. Zinc lozenges may work by blocking the cold virus from replicating (preventing it from spreading) or by impairing the ability of the cold virus to enter cells in the nose and throat.
Garlic is one of the more popular home cures for colds. Many cultures have a home remedy for the cold using garlic, whether it’s chicken soup with lots of garlic, a drink made with raw crushed garlic, or if it just involves eating raw garlic.
Echinacea is still one of the most popular herbs used today for colds and flu. Herbalists often recommend taking echinacea every two to three hours at the first sign of symptoms. The key to using echinacea is starting it at the smallest sign of symptoms, because after about 7 days, it loses it’s effectiveness in remedying a cold.
Ginger root is another old time remedy for a cough, colds, and sore throat. It’s used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat coughs and is also for colds accompanied by a runny nose with a clear nasal discharge, headache, neck and shoulder aches, and a white tongue coating. In Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, ginger is also used for coughing and colds.
Hot ginger tea is a popular home remedy for cold symptoms and sore throat. Honey and lemon are sometimes added.
Eucalyptus Steam Inhalation
A steam inhalation with eucalyptus oil may help to alleviate symptoms from colds and flu. It is thought to work by thinning mucus in the respiratory tract.
In summary, these are just a few examples of best practices and natural remedies to help you get through cold and flu season. As mentioned, our coaches here at Central Mass Fat Loss are here to help you during your journey to better health, and will ramp it up even more if you’re not feeling well during the process. All you have to do is reach out!
Brian Roberts – Director
Central Mass Fat Loss
6 Colonial Drive
Westborough, MA 01581
(508)733-1410 Cell or Text
Check out our website for upcoming events as well as previous posts
For updates and event info, subscribe to our newsletter HERE