6 Great Ways To Avoid The Curse of The Common Cold And Fix A Sore Throat
Cover Your Head And Ears
Do you remember what your mother would tell you when you were little and wanted to play outside in the cold?
" Put on your coat and wear you scarf and hat!" I heard this so often it used to make me mad. But boy have I come to realize how important her advice was. And as a vocal coach for more years than I care to remember I tell my students the same thing.
If you aren't following the wise advice given below maybe you had better stick around. You may be surprised to find just how important this is to your health as well as the health of others.
The Common Cold
Prevention Tips For Warding Off A Cold
The common cold is most people's curse. Along with a stuffy nose and loss of energy we may be threatened with a painful sore throat. Fortunately it may be possible to ward off not only the common cold, with accompanying sore throat, but even certain types of the flu.
I've personally managed to protect myself from coming down with a bad cold by doing the following:
- Wash, wash, wash your hands. If I'm paranoid about anything it would be washing my busy little hands. And I don't mean holding them under a few drips of running water and leaving it at that.
When I wash these hands of mine I suds up like mad, make sure the water is hot, and continue scrubbing while I sing through Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or Mary Had A Little Lamb three times. I finish with a quick dry using a clean towel or paper towel. If a door knob is staring at me upon leaving the room I use a piece of toilet tissue or paper towel or if I have to, the tail-end of my shirt to protect my hands from picking up germs.
- Drinking Water. It is so very important to stay hydrated. Concentrate on drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. It is essential to wash out the harmful toxins present in the body. By the time you feel thirsty you're already hydrated.We usually don't feel the urge to drink water in the rainy season so be alert and if you have to, keep a record. Dehydration affects the proper functioning of our body.
- Nutrition. Regardless of how many times you read about the benefits of eating a healthy diet it bears repeating. Stuff yourself with those veggies, fruits, fish, legumes and avoid red meat, all the tempting sugary criminals and high fats. Read up on the benefits of virgin olive oil, garlic, kale, broccoli and other super foods.
- Supplements. With busy schedules, hectic activities or being a fast-food junkie, sometimes our meal planning suffers and we just don't get enough vitamins and minerals needed to build a healthy immune system. This is where supplements can help. It's really tough to get all the nutrients you need from food. Check with your doctor first before adding supplements to your diet, especially if you're on medication.
How Much Water Should I Drink?
Take Extra Vitamin C To Prevent A Sore Throat
Sea Salt or Regular Salt?
When You Feel That Tickle In Your Throat Coming On
As soon as that familiar tickle announces itself:
- Reach for the nasal saline spray. This combination of salt and water washes out germs that linger around waiting for your immune system to become exhausted so they can attack you. When you first feel the slightest tickle in your throat you are being alerted that drainage is beginning. By flushing your nasal passages you are preventing the mucus from getting to thick and hopefully side-tracking those germs.
(Turn your head side-to-side and tilt your face towards the ceiling to reach all areas.)
- Gargle with warm salt water. I prefer using sea salt but regular salt is just as effective. Make sure your water is good and warm but not hot. I also sometimes add a little baking soda. Add 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. soda to 1 pint of very warm water. Stir and gargle. Adding cayenne pepper to the mix will usually stop soreness in it's tracks.
Swishing this same concoction also washes away any germs that can lodge in the back of your mouth. It also stops those painful little canker sores . . . and quick.
Popeye Was Right. Eat Your Spinach
- During the holidays double up on everything you regularly take (vitamin C, fluids, veggies and all that good stuff) to build up your immune system.
The reason cold and flu symptoms show up around the Christmas season is because our immune system is weakened to the point that any virus can attack you. We over-eat, party, shop, get less sleep and have more stress. This lowers our immune system.
- Keep your colon clean. Did you know that if your colon is clean you're less likely to get sick? Most problems we have with illness are a result of a toxic colon. With a clean colon your body absorbs more nutrients from your food and supplements.
Tips For Singers And Professional Speakers
If singing and speaking are your lively hood you have a huge responsibility to protect your voice and feed your body a nutritious diet. Review these tips and make sure you follow them:
- Do not ask more of your voice than it can bear. Too much song-singing can be harmful. It taxes the voice adding strain and even abuse.
- Limit your singing to a comfortable range. Pushing the voice to sing too high or too low causes damage to the vocal bands.
- Use only diaphragmatic breathing. This applies to speakers as well as singers. Avoid at all cost chest breathing. Breathing from just the chest area prevents the much-needed support to sustain tones and lyrics. Speakers and singers often experience hoarseness when substituting chest breathing for diaphragmatic breathing.
- Rest your voice when ill. Your vocal organs need time to recuperate during and after an illness.
- Avoid, above all, sudden changes in temperature. This includes going from a warm cozy room into the cold outdoors. Bundle up and protect your head, ears and throat. Air conditioning can also pose problems
A Word About Strep Throat
If your throat is pretty darn sore and you're running a fever over 101 F you may have strep throat. Also check for white patches in the back of the throat. Your lymph nodes may also be swollen and somewhat tender when you have strep throat.
With a regular sore throat the pain most likely goes away after a few days. But with strep the throat hurts worse and can last longer. You may also lose your appetite or even be nauseated.
Strep throat is caused by an infection called Streptococcus. Be sure to see a doctor if you suspect strep throat. If you let it go without treatment this infection can affect your organs including your heart. Your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat a painful strep infection.
When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick.— George Burns
In Conclusion . . .
A cold is natures way of flushing toxins from your system. It actually "cleans house." When your body is very toxic it lowers your resistance making you vulnerable to all sorts of viruses and infections.A person with a cold is most contagious during the first 2 - 3 days.
And do you realize that when we experience criticism or a negative attitude from people around us we open ourselves up to getting sick or even acquiring worse problems? So surround yourself with compassionate, positive, caring people when you aren't feeling well.
Keep in mind that your body is sick and not your brain. So even though you feel like crap you will heal faster by repeating positive affirmations and completely ignore negativity of any kind..
Laughter is indeed the best medicine. Encourage humor from others and find it however you can while you're sick. Remember the illness is usually temporary so do the best you can to get through each day.
Good health to you and thanks for being here.
© 2016 Audrey Hunt
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