10 Reasons Your Cold Just Won't Go Away
Almost everyone will be hit with some form of the common cold this winter, but some suffer much more than others. If you have a bug that just won't bite the dust, one of these 10 habits could be to blame.
You're not sleeping enough.
No surprise here, but sleeping is one of the keys to getting rid of a cold, fast. Your body needs the time to recover, and the rest lets your body use the energy it does have to fight off whatever bug you're suffering from. If you needed a reason to call in sick when you're not feeling well, this is it.
You're avoiding dairy.
Maybe an old wives' tale, but for years rumours have swirled that dairy increases mucus and phlegm and therefore should be avoided when you're feeling poorly. Doctors believe this is actually due to a milk intolerance, so if you don't have an allergy, drink all the milk you want to. In fact, a cold bowl of ice cream may make you feel just a little bit better.
You're not getting enough fluids.
The key to flushing a bad cold out of your system is fluids. There's a reason why that bowl of chicken soup or big glass of orange juice is so comforting when you're ill, it's helping flush all those bad bugs out. Drink as much as you can; stay hydrated and you'll kick that cold in no time.
You're still working.
Sick days are there for a reason, yet many of us don't take them. Not only are you doing your coworkers a favour by keeping your germs far away from them, but you'll bounce back faster if you take the time to rest. Your body needs the time to fight off whatever you've got and dragging yourself into the office is definitely not the way to do it.
You're not sticking to your diet.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do is eat when you're sick, but research shows it's important. Don't forgo your meals just because you're not feeling your best. Your body needs extra calories to fight your cold, so try and get in as many nutrient-rich foods as you can stomach.
You're still working out.
It might be hard to skip a workout if you're used to hitting the gym a few times a week, but if you're feeling really tired or have a fever, it might be just what you need to get better. It's important to listen to your body; don't push yourself or your cold will stick around for longer than it should.
Smoking is an attack on your lungs and throat, so smoking when you're feeling ill can only make your symptoms worse. Try and limit your cigarette intake when you're sick if you're a smoker, and stay away from smoking altogether if you're not (that includes secondhand smoke!).
It might be more than a cold.
If you're really taking care of yourself (resting, drinking lots of fluids and eating well) and your cold still isn't showing any signs of letting up, there is a chance that you're suffering from more than a common cold. A cold is believed to last three to seven days; any longer and you might want to pop over to your doctor's office to make sure it's not a sinus infection, bronchitis or an ear infection.
You're drinking alcohol.
Alochol is dehydrating, and to kick a cold, you need to be hydrated. Studies have also shown that alcohol can weaken your immune system, making it harder for your to beat what's ailing you (and opening you up to a host of other bugs). Long story short: It's best to skip the booze until you're better.
It's not news that stress can wear us down, and it's often in our most stressful times that we'll fall ill with a cold or flu. Stress affects our bodies in the same way when we're trying to kick a cold--it beats down our immune systems, making it harder for us to beat down our illness. Do your best to unplug when you're sick, and focus on resting and eating well.