In the winter months there are constant changes in temperature – from your toasty warm home to the whipping winds outside, to the comforting car or roasting cramped tube, back to the chilly outdoors and finally (phew!) into your frozen/boiling office….and then doing it all over again in reverse. It can really start to take a toll on your health and before you know it, you’re dosing up on cough and cold syrups, tablets and sachets and the pink fuzzy hot water bottle is your new best friend.
This is generally the time where I hear “but it’s fine, I just drank a whole carton of orange juice so I’m sorted.” It doesn’t quite work like that. In fact, studies have shown that vitamin C doesn’t prevent a cold and certainly doesn’t prevent the flu. It may reduce the length of time you have a cold but, lets face it, at the time you just don’t want to have one at all! If you do already have a cold though and want to try something different (and more effective) then check out these top tips:
- When having a hot bath, put in a couple of drops each of eucalyptus, tea tree and lemon. You’ll be able to breathe in no time.
- For steam inhalation (head over bowl, towel over head, deep breathing) use the above but one drop only of each….you don’t want your eyes to sting!
- Using either tiger balm (my favourite) or vicks vapour rub (just as good) place your thumbs in the middle of your forehead in between your eyebrows and sweep up to your hairline and down to your temples, circling a few times into your temples. This encourages a good night sleep and isn’t too overpowering. Some people put a little under their nose but this can often feel like a burning sensation and is really uncomfortable.
- Again using your trusty tiger balm/vicks rub a little into your fingers and from the middle of your breast bone in a straight line up to your collarbone massage into your skin in a corkscrew motion (mini circles) the quicker you massage, the more heat you generate which can shift catarrh faster.
Like anything though the best way to dodge a cold is to have a healthy balanced diet and exercise routine. The stronger your immune system, the less likely you are to get run down. Get plenty of sleep, recent studies have claimed 7 hours is enough and try to keep stress to a minimum. Stress can have a negative knock on effect to our immune system so try that yoga or pilates class you’ve been putting off.
NB: the above is also applicable for man flu
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