When you’re under the weather, simply getting out of bed can be a chore, so trying to keep a healthy lifestyle on track may seem impossible. But making a little effort can help you heal and feel better faster!
Here are five tips to try next time you’re sick!
Listen to Your Body!
Your body is the best guide on approaching illness, even if its signals might be a little scrambled. Often, when you’re sick, it’s all you can do to get out of bed and eat some crackers, and that’s ok!
But if you feel like you can get out of bed and walk, even if it’s just to the mailbox, you should! Lying around in bed can make you feel worse and cause physical restlessness, aches, and pains. Movement is medicine for your joints and muscles!
Finally, if you think something is seriously wrong, and maybe you’re not dealing with your garden-variety cold or flu, PLEASE call your doctor!
Rest is Best
This tip goes hand-in-hand with Tip #1. While some movement is helpful, going overboard can delay healing and keep you down for the count! Don’t try to keep up with your regular workout intensity, and give yourself a break from your eating schedule.
Sleep is when your body repairs its cellular materials, regulates hormone release, and rebuilds the immune system. In short, getting enough sleep is essential, especially when you’re sick. Trying to “ignore” or “push-through” sickness is more likely to delay healing than help.
Sometimes illness is your body’s way of telling you to slow down. You should listen.
Hydrate to Heal
Drinking enough water is essential to your health, even more so when you’re sick! Staying well-hydrated is especially important when your illness involves vomiting or diarrhea. These symptoms (for obvious reasons) cause your body to lose more fluids than usual. If you don’t replace those fluids, you can end up dehydrated, which can be life-threatening!
On top of that, drinking enough water can help combat other common side effects of sickness. If you’re experiencing congestion, adequate hydration keeps your secretions(medical for “gross nose and chest gunk’) from becoming too thick. Fluid intake can also fight fever and is necessary to replace the sweat usually accompanying this symptom.
Keep it Natural (if you can)
“Food as medicine” isn’t just a catchy slogan. Certain foods have been used to help with symptom management for thousands of years.
Sometimes you just need relief, and obviously, you should always follow the doctor’s orders. But if you’re trying to avoid synthetic over-the-counter medications (which are packed with dyes, artificial flavoring, and sugar), try a few of these “natural remedies.”
- Fresh Crushed Garlic: feel a cold coming on? Garlic can stimulate the immune system and fight inflammation. You can mix raw garlic with hot water, lemon, and honey, or if you love garlic, just eat a raw clove or add a double amount to your favorite dishes! Even if you don’t avoid illness, garlic can reduce the length and severity of a cold.
- Hot Ginger & Lemon water: ginger is well known for fighting nausea. We recommend grating or slicing some ginger, steeping it in hot water, and adding a squeeze of lemon to taste. Lemon also provides a dose of antioxidants and immune-boosting vitamin C.
- Lemon & Honey Tea: speaking of immune-boosting vitamin C, adding a little raw, organic honey to hot lemon water can help fight coughs and sore throats. Steam and heat from tea can ease sinus inflammation and clear mucus.
- Saltwater Gargle: A classic never dies. If you’re suffering from a soar throat, the antibacterial properties of a saltwater gargle can ease discomfort and shorten its duration!
Eat for Energy
Understandably, if you don’t feel well, you may not want to go through the effort of cooking a full meal. But, you must get nutrition where you can when fighting back sickness.
Try to eat frequent, small snacks. If you have zero appetite- set reminders on your phone. Stick to foods that won’t bother your stomach.
We have a few suggestions that will keep you fueled with essential nutrients.
- Soups & Broths: Soothing? Check! Hydrating? Check! Nutrient packed? Check!
- Eggs: Easy to eat and prepare, plus a protein boost, eggs’ll get you through.
- Blueberries and strawberries: these contain anthocyanins, which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. Plus sweetness and fiber? It’s a win-win!
- Leafy Greens: the catch-all healthy food. You can eat them raw, cook them up (with garlic?), and get plenty of healing vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
Here’s the most important thing to remember when you’re sick: give yourself a break and give your body what it needs. Are your go-to “sick foods” mom’s chicken noodle soup and toast? That’s fine! Remember, “Betr, not perfect” counts double when you’re sick!
Being sick is a part of life, but if you want extra knowledge to avoid it, check out our blog post on Gut-Health and Immunity: Bacterial Bodyguard.
After reading this article, you may be asking yourself if your own health hurdles could be related to an unhealthy gut.
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