Fitness with Finesse: 5 Secret Weapons to Fight a Cold

Colder months are coming, and with that come cold and flu season and the infamous "UF plague.” Fighting off a cold is the ultimate fall goal, but cold medicine and sleep aren’t always enough. With these simple remedies you’ll kick a cold in a few short days and be ready to go out and conquer the gym again.

1. Warm compressWhen you have a cold, waking up in the morning can be hard. With sinus headaches and swollen lymph nodes in your neck, getting out of your comfy bed is the last thing you want to do, but a warm compress on problem areas can help. When you wake up in the morning, soak a washcloth in hot water and apply to your neck, over your nose to loosen your sinuses or on your forehead to relieve a headache. You’ll start to feel better almost immediately so you're ready to start your day.

2. Peppermint teaPeppermint tea is often seen as nature’s cold remedy. The tea is known to help decongest, reduce mucus and relieve sinus headaches. A cup of peppermint tea is perfect with your breakfast, lunch and dinner or before you go to bed. It’s the perfect drink while you have a cold, especially in colder weather. The vapors of it will be a calming scent as you binge-watch Netflix in bed.

3. Raw honeyRaw honey is not your average honey. Normal honey you buy at the grocery store (that doesn’t say "raw" on the label) has been pasteurized, taking away the healing properties of the honey. Head to the farmers market to buy some local honey and add it to your tea or a cup of hot water. Or you could always just take a spoonful straight if you're feeling adventurous. The antibacterial properties will help with a sore throat and fight off infection of your tonsils. Try to have two spoonfuls a day to kick your cold.

4. ExerciseWhile exercising might be the last thing you want to do when you’re sick, it can be really beneficial. Even if it’s a brisk walk outside, a light jog or a bike ride, breathing in fresh air and pumping blood through your body will make you feel better in the morning. The exercise and exposure to the outdoors will help your immune system fight off the cold. Be sure to read up on the risks of this remedy, as exercising when you have certain types of ailments (i.e. fever) can be harmful.

5. Detox bathAfter a long day fighting off infection, a relaxing bath (with another cup of peppermint tea) will help you relax. While just hot water will help with your sinuses, a detox bath will go the extra mile. Add one cup of Epsom salt, a half cup of baking soda and some tea tree oil to the hot water and mix until dissolved. Stay in the bath for at least 20 minutes to let the salts draw out the toxins, and stay longer to soak in the minerals from the essential oils. There are tons of other recipes out there to try, too.

Getting sick can often derail any plans you have, especially during an exam week. You might not feel like studying or you might miss that awesome concert at the High Dive you were planning on attending. With these secret weapons in your back pocket, you’ll be ready to take on the next cold you get. Get back on your feet quickly and don’t let a cold keep you out of the gym for too long.

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