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It’s that sneezing and sniffling time of year—again

HPRC Fitness Arena: Nutrition, Total Force Fitness
Filed under: Cold, Colds, Illness
Fighting a cold? These healthful remedies should help you get back on your feet sooner than later.

Each year, the average adult catches 2–3 colds lasting 7–9 days each. That’s almost an entire month—YIKES! What you eat and drink each day can impact your body’s resistance to sickness. Want to keep the doctor away? Eat 9 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables daily.

Choosing nutritious foods when you’re sick shortens the number of days you feel badly and helps you feel better while you’re recovering. Here are some tips to help you get well soon:

  • Grab a mug of chicken soup to clear your head and soothe your throat.
  • Drink tea (black, green or white) to break up chest congestion and stay hydrated. Tea also contains a group of antioxidants, which could boost overall immunity.
  • Take a spoonful of honey before bedtime to quiet a cough. You could also add honey and lemon juice to one cup of boiling water. (Not for kids under one year of age.)

These recommendations might have previously been considered folklore or old wives’ tales, but science now shows that Grandma knew best!

Colds versus allergies

HPRC Fitness Arena: Environment, Total Force Fitness
Can you tell the difference between a contagious cold and the irritating allergies that affect some people in the spring?

Have you been experiencing symptoms such as sneezing; a runny nose; watery and/or itchy eyes, and fatigue? Colds and allergies both can make you feel miserable and affect your performance, but it can be hard sometimes to tell which is which. The causes of each are distinctly different: Colds are contagious, and they are caused by viruses. But allergies are due to sensitivity to allergens such as seasonal pollen, and they’re not contagious. To prevent colds, hand washing is key, along with hygiene etiquette such as covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze. To avert allergies, on the other hand, try to avoid the allergens that cause your symptoms. Common allergens, especially in the spring, include grass and tree pollen. Year-round allergens include mold, animal dander, and dust mites. It can be a challenge to exercise and enjoy the outdoors if you have allergies, but it’s not impossible. Here are some tips to help you manage your allergies:

  • Know and avoid your allergy triggers. If you’re not sure what you might be allergic to, getting tests done by a specialist could help you narrow it down. A doctor might also suggest an antihistamine or inhaler to help prevent flare-ups.
  • Check the air quality in your area every day. If the pollen count is high, avoid spending too much time outside, mowing the grass, or exercising outdoors.
  • Shower after being outside. This can help reduce symptoms by washing pollen off your, skin, hair, and eyelashes.
  • If you must be outside during high pollen/pollutant times, wear a cover (such as a mask or bandana) over your mouth and nose to keep particles out of your airways.
  • Rinse out your nose with a saline spray to help wash away allergens after being outside.
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