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Easy Remedies to Ease the Bite of Cold and Flu Bugs

Don't let that Cold or Flu bug wipe you out.

It is that time of year........I thought this article was interesting and hopefully you will too. 

There are millions of cases of the common cold in the U.S. each year. If you're sneezing, have a stuffy nose and a scratchy throat, you might have a cold. Muscle aches and a high fever may mean you've come down with something a bit nastier — the flu.

If you don't take care of an infection, a cold or the flu can lead to more serious problems — especially for young children and the elderly.

No matter what age you are, if you're under the weather, use these tried-and-true remedies to help you get back on your feet more quickly.


 

Take Your Vitamins

Taking at least 200 milligrams of vitamin C daily (around two cups of orange juice) can reduce the number of days a cold lasts by 8 percent. And while vitamin C is important, a balanced diet is vital to maintaining a strong and healthy immune system — which is why it's extra important to eat healthy during cold and flu season.

 

Eat Up

You've probably heard "feed a cold and starve a fever." It's time to put this piece of motherly advice to rest. If you're hungry, eat — especially when you have a fever. You burn more calories for every degree above your normal temperature, so it's important you're maintaining balanced nutrition while your body fights off the bug.

Concerned about what your stomach can handle? Heat up some chicken soup. This age-old home remedy helps relieve cold and flu symptoms in two ways: by working as an anti-inflammatory and helping relieve nasal congestion.

 

Stay Hydrated

Your body loses fluids due to fever and during mucus production, so staying hydrated is equally as important as eating right when you're sick. If you get tired of plain old water, there are beneficial alternatives.

A cup of echinacea tea can cut as much as a day and a half off the duration of the common cold and flu, thanks to active antiviral agents found in the herb. If you prefer something cold, sports drinks are packed with electrolytes and glucose that can help replenish your energy.

 

Move Your Body

When you're not feeling up to par, exercise might be the last thing you feel like doing. But moderate exercise can boost your immune system if you're feeling up to it and don't overdo it. The "neck check" rule of thumb says it's OK to exercise if your symptoms are above the neck, like a head cold. For symptoms below the neck — bronchitis or muscle aches, for example — or if you have a fever, wait until you feel better to exercise.

You might also consider working out at home rather than the gym. Go for a walk outside, or exercise to a workout DVD or online video. If you exercise at the gym when you're not feeling well, you're likely to spread your germs in spite of your best efforts not to. Wiping down equipment after you've used it won't get rid of all traces of a virus.

 

Sleep

Want to just sleep your symptoms away? Go for it. In fact, it's recommended. Sleep lets your body fight off infections without any stimulation, stress or other factors to get in the way. It also keeps you away from others because the last thing you want to do is spread the sickness around.

Getting enough sleep each night has even shown to improve the effectiveness of flu shots. A study involving healthy, college-aged kids showed those who slept an average of eight hours a night produced twice as many antibodies against the flu after receiving a shot as those who only slept four hours.

To reduce the chances of catching a bug, doctors recommend a flu shot and frequent hand-washing. But there is no foolproof way to avoid getting sick. If you do end up under the weather, remember to get enough rest, choose the right things to eat and drink, and you could be back on your feet quicker.

 

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