I’m currently sick with a terrible sore throat, cough, body chills and heat, stuffy nose, and head cold. It’s the winter, and it’s not uncommon to get sick during this season as many of us stay indoors. In fact, this is my second time being sick this winter. What stresses me out the most is not being able to get my training done, but it’s important to be smart, listen to your body, and stop your training because your body needs all of its energy to heal itself. Think of it as forced recovery. Most of us don’t get enough recovery as it is. Here are my tips to prevent, deal with, and get over a cold.
Oh, and I am not a doctor so please consult your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
1. Open up the windows
Most people get sick in the winter because they are cooped up indoors. Open your windows while training to let some fresh air in. Crack the windows in your bedroom while you sleep. Go out for a walk around the block.
2. Take Airborne or Nuun Immunity
If you feel something coming on, immediately start taking Airborne or Nuun Immunity. Take the max recommended dosage per day, which is 3 tablets of Airborne and 6 tablets of Nuun. I used to only rely on Airborne, but because it contains artificial flavors, I have recently switched to Nuun Immunity and am testing it out. Take it in hot water, and while you’re waiting for it to cool off, breathe in the steam. This helps alleviate stuffy noses.
3. Add Honey
Honey helps alleviate a sore throat, acts as a cough suppressant, and boosts the immune system. Take a teaspoon in a cup of hot water or tea. Remember to breathe in the steam to help with congestion.
4. Drink Ginger Tea
When I am full-blown sick, I start my day off with ginger tea. I steep it for 15 minutes in hot water and drink away. I don’t think it tastes too gingery.
5. Drink Hot Water
Even when I am not sick, I drink hot water on a daily basis as I find it comforting and soothing. When you are sick, the hot water soothes the throat and breathing in the steam eases congestion. Optionally mix it with the above mentioned items.
6. Eat Broth-based foods and soups
Bone broth is another favorite of mine when I am not sick. When I am sick, I mix it in with some white basmati rice or rice ramen noodles. Food should mostly consist of hot soups so as not to irritate the throat. Well Yes! soups are also an easy option if you can tolerate the potato starch in it. It’s important to keep eating while you are sick because your body needs energy to heal. Stick to easily digestible foods and skip the dairy.
7. Take cough drops
When you wake up in a coughing fit in the middle of the night, these are super easy to grab and take. The menthol feels so soothing. They are extremely portable so I’ll take some when I must go in to work or leave the house. I like the Ricola brand because of its natural ingredients.
8. Use NormaTec or Air Relax Compression System to alleviate achy muscles
Sure, these tools are meant for recovery after hard workouts, but it also feels nice on a sick, achy body. I like using the shorts/hip attachment, as it also targets my lower back. These are expensive systems so don’t go out and buy it if your only reason is to use it while you are sick.
It’s super important to rest. Your body needs to concentrate on healing, and if you are working out or being active, it will take the body longer to heal. I tend to stress out with the missed workouts, but you must listen to your body and take off. An easy walk outside for fresh air is okay once you are feeling better, and then keep the intensity light as you gradually return to workouts. As I was once told, recover as hard as you train.
I like this pillow because there is built-in traction which helps alleviate neck pain and align the spine.
10. See your doctor
If you are still not getting better, please see your doctor. Although I am not a fan of antibiotics, this may be your only recourse.