The first half of the year has felt like a scene from a quasi-futuristic film about (global) health. As a result, we’ve had to overturn the way we live. The government has had to pick up the megaphone and duly teach the essential basics of regularly washing our hands, being mindful of the people around us, the surfaces we touch and to dab when we cough.
With all the health rhetoric circling about, we can’t help but begin to think deeply about how our bodies work and how we can stay in tip-top shape. So we put on trainers we’ve long abandoned and cover a few kilometers or work out indoors. And as things stand, one of the most positive things to come out of Covid-19 is the heightened awareness around the importance of wellbeing.
Alas, winter is a season of colds and flu. So, when you feel that familiar tinge of roughness on your throat, don’t just resign yourself to endless hours in bed with a handkerchief and soup with the hope that you’ll eventually get better. There are a few things you can do to defend your health once you start showing signs of illness.
Know exactly what your system is fighting
Finding out the real story of why your temperature is shooting through the roof will save you time and stress. For example, flu and colds can show the same symptoms, but are a bit different. If you show symptoms such fever, a sore throat, runny nose or a cough, you might have seasonal flu, a viral respiratory infection. Symptoms of a cold include a runny nose and coughing too, but are usually gentler and don’t last as long as the flu does.
Make time for a conversation with a doctor. It’ll help with tracing the source of your symptoms and from that, you can make up a treatment plan to get you out of the woods.
Don’t push your body too hard
When you begin to feel sick, it’s crucial to not even be tempted to run a few kilos or work hours past midnight to slash a few items off your to-do list. Instead, it’s time to relax and let the body recharge. Pushing it to the limits when you might’ve caught an illness will only drain out the very energy your body needs to recover.
Also make sure to stay away from cold or damp surroundings as bacteria and viruses increase in cooler temperatures. When your system is fighting off some type of bug, it’s best to stay dry and warm at all times.
Stick to healthy foods
Of course, this might strike you as a no-brainer. But it’s important to throw in as much healthy food into your plate as possible, especially when you start coming down with an illness. Make an effort to go without caffeine and alcohol, as these can easily make you dehydrated. Nourishing food can help power up the immune system to fight off infections, while specific foods like garlic and lemon are known for their germ-fighting effects.
Drink loads of liquids
Staying hydrated is one of the best things to do for your body when the immune system is preparing for a fight. In this case, drinking water often, having sports and other sugar-free drinks are great ways to stay hydrated. This helps a lot, especially if you were to get dehydrated because of a fever.
Get enough sleep
In the first 24 hours of an illness, it’s greatly recommended to get as much sleep as possible to give the body a fighting chance. Try to go against the usual habits of wanting to binge on your favourite TV shows and movies or going to bed late in order to catch up with work. Hit the sack!
It’s also important to act quickly when you (even mildly) feel sick. Getting access to and using medicine within the first 48 hours can lead to a much shorter stint with sickness.
Wishing you abundant health and happiness.