Saturday, December 22, 2007

Getting Over A Cold

I don't get sick often. I used to get sick several times a year, but after I figured out that I got sick more from eating out often I cut that out, now I dine in and cook more of my own meals. Since doing this, I notice I get sick less. Also, I use a sanitary spray to clean my hands throughout the business day after shaking people's hands. This also helps reduce germs.

The best way to get over a cold, after all, is to avoid it in the first place.

According to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, Americans suffer about 1 billion colds a year. That's a lot of people getting sick. The Census Bureau now estimates the US population to be over 299,398,484 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 Population Estimates, Census 2000, 1990 Census). The combination of these statistics mean that each person in the US is getting sick 3 times a year, on average. Considering some people probably don't get sick very often, this means that others might catch as many as five colds a year. That's a seriously productivity problem that's nothing to sneeze at.

Have you ever noticed how much harder it is to work when you're sick? In some cases, it's downright impossible. I just experienced this the past two days, with a splitting headache, head cold (running nose), fever, and other conditions. For two days I was off the blog and unable to do much of anything. As soon as I feel good enough to type, I'm back writing to about getting over a cold, though.

Why? Because I know I can help people who are sick. I have a formula for getting over a nasty cold. It works pretty well, too. I provide it for entertainment purposes only; however, if you are sick and unsure of the symptoms, I always recommend you visit a doctor. I have a rule of thumb that if I am ever sick and it gets into my lungs or deep-sinus infection, that I visit the doc immediately. Also, if you're sick longer than two days, don't tough it out - go see a doctor! It's a good rule to live by. I just returned from the local Med-Stop office (the only doc around me open on a Saturday), and now have a prescription for antibiotics to help me overcome this cold -- if I need it. I'm not of the belief that I will need the antibiotic though. Read my cold remedies and you'll see why.

Scott's Cold Remedies: Ways to Quickly Get Over A Cold:

1. Take Emergen-C. Whenever I first start feeling like I might get sick, I take Emergen-C (Great deal at Amazon- less than Trader Joe's!) Here's an easy link to buy this BEFORE you need it from Amazon: Emergen-C 36 Pack.

What I love about Emergen-C is that this product contains all the antioxidants your body needs. Consider these ideas:

a. Instead of drinking soda, drink Emergen-C It tastes as good, and it is better for you.

b. Are you a boss? Consider buying a few boxes for your office. Rather than paying for sick time and lost productivity, you'll be paying for healthy employees.

c. Are you older? It can be harder for the elderly to keep their immune system active. Keep a stash of Emergen-C on hand and drink it any time you feel a little run-down. You'll get the boost you need.

d. On a budget but want to try it anyway? Visit Emergen-C's site and fill in a few details and they'll send you a free sample to try it out. I already know it works, so if you want my opinion, just get yourself a stash and keep it on hand all the time.

I just took two packets of Orange Emergen-C with Crystal Geyser water and I'm feeling more energized in just 30 minutes!

2. Get your sleep. If I feel like I'm getting sick, I get more sleep. I normally run on about 6-7 hours of sleep. But if there is one time you CANNOT cut corners on sleep it is when you're getting sick. Go to sleep earlier, wake up earlier, and you'll feel better sooner. If I'm already sick, I make sure to sleep between 8 - 10 hours per day. If you're pushing your body hard, this is one time you can't do that.

3. Get a little sunshine. Another healthy tip is to let your body get some sunshine as soon as possible. The sun, in small doses, helps our body and skin build up some natural energy to fight off colds. Today I was out in the sun for about 30 minutes, and it was healthy for me (certainly more healthy than that sneezy doc's office!).

4. Eat healthier, lighter meals and drink lots of water. While some people advocate starving a cold, I sure the heck don't. Why? Because if your body is trying to build up antibodies to fight off a virus, the last thing you want to do is starve your body. Essentially, by starving yourself you put yourself at cross-purposes with your body. It is wiser to eat regular, healthy meals. Lighter foods and fluids are wise choices when you are sick. Consider eggs, water, jello, soup, and things of this nature. Don't eat too much meat when you're sick, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Yeah, I know, your Uncle Tom says a shot of Jack Daniels will cure a cold. But, then again, have you looked at Uncle Tom lately? Alcohol dehydrates you and doesn't put anything in your body to help it build immunity to infectious disease or a cold. Same thing with coffee and tea, which both dehydrate you. Better than dehydration is water - the only hydration method I know that gives your body oxygen the natural way. Not only that, but if you've had the flu, you'll need the water to re-balance your system.

5. Light exercise. I don't recommend that you go to the gym when you are sick. If you have to ask why, you're really not with it, are you?! Think of all the germs that get passed around at the gym! Door handles, machines, gym floors, locker-room benches, and more are all natural places for germs to build up and gather an assault on your unsuspecting body. Don't be part of the problem. When you feel like you're getting sick, or certainly if you already are sick, stay away from the gym. Instead, do some stretches, and some light workouts with barbells in your home. This will keep your body up and at the same time avoid getting others sick.

6. Don't eat out. If you're getting sick a lot, it could be a result of eating out often. Consider cooking more at home, with healthier choices of food in salads, stir fry, soups, and such. I've become healthier since I made this choice.

7. Quit smoking and drinking booze. People who smoke have lower immune systems and get sick more often than those who don't. Same thing with anyone who drinks more than 5 alcoholic beverages a week. If you want to improve your immunity, get rid of addictions that limit your health.

8. Avoid crowds during holidays. The holiday season is when the most flu bugs get passed around. The reason for this is because of the colder air and because people are gathered together. If you can avoid movie theatres during this season, you'll probably be healthier than if you go see a movie. Places people go that can foster getting sick during holidays include: airports, restaurants, theatres. If you are around crowds, carry an antibacterial lotion to wipe your hands with often.

9. Stay warm and humid, instead of cold and dry. If you've been around people who are sick, keep your environment warm and humid. This is the environment that colds struggle to live in and why it is rare to get sick in the summer.

10. Be careful with your hands! Also, make sure you don't touch your nose, eyes, and ears during this season. These are the three places most colds enter your body. If you don't touch them without first coating your hand with antibacterial lotion, you'll lessen the odds of getting sick. (Hint: this is the one thing I really blew this last week that I believe had a direct impact in why I got sick!)

11. Get rid of allergens. I used to get sick every Christmas until I figured out the biggest culprit to my winter health: the Christmas Tree! Yep, I was bummed to learn that the beloved Christmas tree is also a major problem for mold spores. Of course, a tree is also a fire hazard, too. Once I learned that the tree was a source of mold in my home, I got rid of it. Yes, I'd rather see a real tree than a fake tree, but after the first glance, nobody thinks twice about it. My body is healthier without the mold, too.

12. Keep your thoughts positive and create a plan to lower stress. If you get depressed or stressed-out, your odds of getting sick go up dramatically. People who have a healthy, positive mental outlook get sick less often than those who don't. So, smile, think positive thoughts, and keep your life balanced. Keep your finances in order, keep a regular sleep schedule, keep your exercise schedule, and keep your diet healthy. Have a little fun to balance all the hard work you do. And, most important, don't forget to schedule a vacation once a quarter or so. Americans don't vacation as often as they ought to. It is healthy to get away and recharge ourselves so that we're less stressed and more happy.

So, that's my list. Pretty simple, huh? Well, for some, yes, others, maybe not. I'll be writing some articles in the upcoming New Year on ADDICTIONS (how to get rid of and get over them).

If you find this article helpful to you in preventing and getting over a cold, why not share it with
your friends and family? Just remember to tell them you found it here at AspireNow!

This article is written by Scott Andrews, Founder of AspireNow. Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. To get more articles like this, subscribe to the A-Blog.

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