Rest well, be well and other home cold remedies

Given the recent indecisive winter-spring-winter we’ve been having here in Toronto, there’s probably a few folks out there coming down with a cold. Last week I got taken down pretty hard, and my training suffered. Two years ago, missing nearly a week of training would have really frustrated me, now, while still annoying, I’ve learned to let my body heal.

We’ve all got so much stress in our lives, from work, school and play to family and training, there’s never a dull moment – and that’s ok – until you’ve burnt the candle at both ends for a little too long. When you come down with a cold, the best way to get better quickly, is to rest! I know, you’re tough, you can push through the cough/runny nose/sore throat and get your work out in, but why risk prolonging (or potentially worsening) your illness? Do you really want to feel even more exhausted later? Give it a rest. Literally.

Here are my 5 top home remedies for a fast recovery from a seasonal cold.

1) REST – stop training, give yourself a rest. Get a light 5km treadmill run or a yoga session in if you’re really going crazy, but see if you can use this opportunity slow down and rejuvenate. Sleep in. Go to bed early. Skip your workout. It’s ok!

2) Tea – I love to make a concoction of ginger, lemon, honey and turmeric. I use 1″ of ginger, half a lemon, 2tblsp turmeric and 1tblsp raw, unpasteurized honey. I throw everything in a giant pot, and fill it with about 4-6C of water, let it come to a boil, and sip it all day long. Staying hydrated is important to help support your body in clearing the infection.

3) ‘Magic’ Socks – When you go to bed, put on a cold, wet pair of cotton socks, pull a pair of dry bulky wool socks over top (yes, they have to be wool) and go to sleep, in the morning, your socks will be dry and you’ll be able to sleep all night without nasal congestion!

4) Listen – to your body! If you’re not hungry, don’t eat too much. Your body suppresses your appetite in the early stages of an infection on purpose. Later in the course of your illness, you’ll want to start including high-protein meals or protein shakes to provide your immune system with the building blocks it needs to fight off viruses and bacteria.

5) Stay warm – In Chinese Medicine, the seasonal cold and/or flu can often be caused by an “invasion of cold” so keep adding cinnamon, cayenne, turmeric, ginger and other warming spices to help push the ‘invasion’ out. Check out a tasty warming smoothie recipe here.

Got a favourite home cold remedy? Share it with me in the comments!