It is no surprise that the cold and flu season is lurking in the air in these chilly months of winter. Whilst staying healthy and trying to prevent yourself from falling ill is the best solution to keeping in good kilter, what do we do when we feel the symptoms of a flu or sore throat coming on? Have a look at these 12 Natural Ways To Ward Off The Winter Sniffles and kick those sniffles to the curb this season!
1. Avoid Vigorous Exercise
Although it may be tempting to “sweat the illness out”, like many people do, did you know that it is best not take part in vigorous exercise when you are under the weather? Vigorous exercise can move your symptoms to the chest, making you feel even more under the weather post-workout. If you really must keep active, engage in light activities such as a slow walk around the neighbourhood or some therapeutic yoga that will make you feel good both on the inside and out.
2. Load Up On That Garlic
Garlic doesn’t just ward off vampires - it is a fantastic way to snuff out the sniffles as well. Garlic has been used as a remedy to the sniffles for thousands of years due to its renowned antibiotic properties. Garlic supplements have been proven to cut the risk of catching a cold by half, and can significantly contribute towards having a cold and flu free winter.
3. Stay Hydrated!
Aside from being beneficial to your body in a myriad of ways, staying hydrated with water can greatly reduce your chances of falling ill or developing a full blown virus. As you probably already know, we need at least 2 litres of water everyday. When our bodies are properly hydrated, it gives us a better chance of fighting off infections and viruses. Be sure to stay away from sweet and fizzy drinks as they further dehydrate the body.
4. Sip On Herbal Teas Throughout The Day
One of our favourite accessories to carry around in the winter time is a tea infuser bottle. Infusing herbs and teas such as Lemon and Ginger in a tea infuser bottle in the morning and then throwing it into your bag is a great way to make sure you are warding off the sniffles all day long. Warm Herb and Tea infusions are one of the best ways to decongest the nasal passage and keep you feeling healthy all day long.
5. Treat Yourself To A Massage
Studies have shown that massages increase circulation in the body and contribute to an overall feeling of wellbeing and health. Better blood flow in your system also means that nutrients and vitamins can be circulated better, keeping you feeling strong and healthy.
6. Eat The Rainbow
What your diet consists off greatly affects your immune system, how you feel and your susceptibility to falling ill. It is highly recommended that we consume a variety of colourful vegetables, as different coloured veggies provide us with a wide variety of different nutrients. Eating vegetables of different colours also provides the immune system with the antioxidants that it needs to keep your body in tip top condition.
7. Don’t Worry, Be Happy!
Stress is a huge contributor to falling ill, as it taxes your adrenal glands and exposes your body to high levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) and adrenaline, which suppress your immune system. Always remember to breathe, take it easy and try your best to keep the stress away!
8. Avoid Washing Your Hands Too Often
Washing your hands too many times a day does you more harm than it does good, especially in during the flu season. Although this may come to you as a surprise, exposing yourself to some beneficial germs can help improve and strengthen your immune system. When you over sanitise, you leave nothing for your immune system to fight, which over a period of time may cause your body to try and fight off innocuous things, leading to unnecessary inflammation.
9. Include Probiotic Rich Foods In Your Diet
Yoghurt, Kefir, Kombucha and Miso are all great sources of good bacteria that keep our gut flora healthy and strengthens the immune system. Include Yoghurt of Kefir in your morning breakfast along with a Probiotic supplement and ward off those evil germs!
10. Get Hot And Steamy
Breathing in steam has been a common remedy to help loosen up a stuffy nose. Hold your head over a pot of boiling water and breathe the steam that rises in through your nose, slowly and gently. Be careful to avoid doing this too fast as you do not want to burn your nose. Another way to get steamy is to take a hot shower with the door closed, so that you are breathing in the steam that gets trapped in the bathroom.
11. Gargle With Warm Salt Water
If you have an irritated throat, one of the best ways to soothe it is to gargle with warm salt water. Gargling warm salt water soothes the throat by moistening it, providing temporary relief. A good routine is to dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in 250 ml of warm water, and repeat this process 3-4 times a day.
12. Last But Not Least, Get Some Sleep!
It is so important to get adequate rest, and even more-so when you are feeling under the weather. When you are asleep, your body directs its energy to warding off those pesky germs, something that is very taxing on the body if you are up and about. Give yourself a break, stay warm and toasty in your bed and let your body get to work fighting off disease!We hope that you sail through the coming months in the best of health and spirit with these 12 natural remedies up your sleeve!