We all get sick. Yes, even healthy people like your doctor and health coaches get sick. It can happen to anyone!
The common cold can be caused by any of more than 200 viruses. Colds are often spread through touch or in close contact. If you shake, contact, or hold the hand of an infected person (they may/may not have symptoms) and then touch your eyes or nose, you are likely to get infected with the cold virus. The best way to prevent a cold's transmission is to wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water often (not with hand sanitizer which leaves you even more susceptible because it kills of disease fighting bacteria on your skin).
The cold virus can also be transferred through very close contact of a sneeze or cough. Colds are most contagious two to four days after original exposure (whether or not you have developed symptoms) which is when there is plenty of the virus present in nose and throat.
Once the cold virus enters your system, there's not much you can do to make it vanish. With everyone and I mean everyone getting sick this winter, here are some tips to healing if you have a cold already:
- Rest, rest rest...I don't think anyone (me or your doctor) can emphasize this more. Getting sick is a sign from your body that you need to slow down and take care of yourself. Sleep deprivation has shown to weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to viruses. Aim for 7-9 hours a night depending on what you need. If you do want to move and do some exercise, walking or light yoga is helpful.
- Eat whole foods. I mean non packaged/fast food cr*p! You're body is looking for nutrients in this state of illness and nourishing your cells is the goal right now. Variety is key here. You want to get a range of vitamins and minerals from all sorts of protein, fat and fiber sources. Organic and seasonal are best, but do what you can.
- H2O...hydrate your body! Staying hydrated helps your body flush out toxins and excess mucus. Hot water, lemon water, tea, bone broth and/or soup. Add some fresh ginger to hot water for an added boost of immunity support!
- Meditate. Being mindful and meditation has been shown to reduce stress which is linked to most illnesses. Reducing overall stress from our lives can only be beneficial.
- Stay home. Yes, I know you need to work or go to the store, but if you're full blown sick (like this chic coughing her lungs out in my yoga class this morning) others would rather you stay home. This advice was not taken or literally everyone and their mother wouldn't have gotten ill this winter (which isn't even over yet). Please think about yourself and others when contagious.
Also, please be sure to stay on top of taking proper supplements. If you need any recommendations let me know. Getting your vitamin levels checked every few months will help you know where to supplement. Help your body build your immune system to stay health all year long!
In love and health,