Friday, September 23, 2011

Sick as a dog

Hello all! Me again (because you were expecting somebody else??). I am not actually sick at the moment, as the title of this post would suggest, but I WAS feeling a bit paranoid at the beginning of the week that I was coming down with something, so I thought I'd write a post on it. Doesn't sound all that exciting, I know, but generally when I feel like I'm coming down with a cold there are a few things that I like to do in order to try to avoid becoming sick. I thought I should share those things with you.

(Where did the saying "sick as a dog" come from, anyway? My dog has never been sick. And generally when I do come down with a cold, she's sitting as far from me on the couch as possible, staring at me as if to say "do not let that snot come any closer to me". Hmm.)

Vitamins, vitamins, and more vitamins - If your household was anything like mine was growing up, you might have learned to hate vitamins with a fiery, burning passion. That probably sounds a little bit overdramatic, but honestly. The second my brother or I even BEGAN to sneeze (whether it was due to getting a cold or not), my mom would drag us into the kitchen and start to practically shove vitamins down our throats. It became one of those things that we would avoid doing at all costs, simply because we would be forced to take them every time. Then, around the age of 16 or so, I came to realize something. VITAMINS ACTUALLY WORK. There's nothing worse than having one of those colds that make it difficult to breathe, where you're snotting on anything and everything and you can't even find the motivation to get up out of bed, let alone actually make it to school or work. So when I finally figured out that vitamins actually did a lot to help me avoid becoming sick like that, it was a pretty big revelation. Now, anytime I even have a tickle in my throat, I go straight for my two default vitamins.
1) Vitamin C - Not only does Vitamin C help to boost our immune systems and protect against the common cold, but studies have also shown that it may actually help to protect against cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling! Find some here.
2) Echinacea - Echinacea is a pretty amazing little herb. Again, my mom would force this stuff on my brother and I. She generally bought it in liquid form and would add it to juice, and it tasted DISGUSTING. Now I buy it in capsule form and pop one once or twice a day when I think I might be getting sick, and I either don't get sick at all or it's much less severe. According to research done, people who take echinacea on a semi-regular or regular basis have heightened immune systems (they fall ill much less frequently, experience milder symptoms, and recover more quickly). I just buy mine from my local grocery store (Safeway).

Drink plenty of fluids - Most people do this when they're sick, but I want to mention it anyway. Whether you're drinking orange juice (this will give you added vitamin C as well), tea (I recommend green tea, especially when sick), or water, the more fluids you can get into your body, the better.

Get lots of rest - The less sleep you get, the more likely you are going to get sick to begin with. So especially when you're worried that you are coming down with something, get as much rest as possible.

Those are the basic things that I try to do when I feel like I'm coming down with something. Most people are aware of the theory behind these things, but few people actually put them into practice. I promise you, they do work, and they've helped me avoid becoming quite ill many times.

I'll be back soon for another post, but in the meantime... stay healthy. :)

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