Being sick is no fun. Even just a simple cold and cough makes you want to lay in bed and sleep all day.
If you have plenty of concerned loved ones, you’ll likely be bombarded with all kinds of advice on how to effectively handle your illness. But while the advice and opinions of well-meaning family and friends are all intended for your quick recovery, not all of them may be medically sound. Some pieces of advice may actually be counterproductive.
To help you filter the information you are often told to follow so you can bounce back to health right away, rounded up here are common opinions about being sick with coughs and colds, along with the reasons why you should correct these.
1. Do not take a bath.
In a lot of cultures, taking a bath while sick with a cold and cough is believed to aggravate the discomforts of the illness. You may develop a fever and stay bedridden for a much longer time.
This is not true. If you have a fever, a bath can help regulate your body temperature and make you feel instantly better. Also, you’ll be less contagious to others if you clean up because you’ve washed off germs from your body.
A hot bath is particularly helpful if you suffer from congestion. Add some essential oils and Epsom salts, and you will even be able to dispel toxins from your body to boost your immune system and expedite your healing process.
2. Do not exercise.
Here’s another piece of advice you’ll typically hear when you’re down with a cold and cough. Your loved ones want you to take it easy and rest. However, contracting a common disease is rarely about stress or being too tired; it’s usually due to a virus.
Therefore, you can squeeze in a workout if you can, as long as you make sure to still get enough rest, especially at night when cells regenerate and healthy hormones are released.
Walking, biking, and even light aerobics will stimulate your body to release health-boosting hormones. On top of that, sweating can help you decongest and detoxify as well. One thing though: Do not forget to rehydrate. For the treatment of a cold and cough, drinking water is a must, and more so after a sweat session.
3. Stick to light food.
Quite often, when you are sick, your family just serves you light meals which consist of soup, bread or crackers, and juices. These are the easiest to eat and keep down, especially if you are experiencing nausea. But if you still have an appetite and you have no issue keeping food down, you can eat balanced meals.
It’s vital to boost nutrition when you are sick to fully activate your immune system. Also, food has vitamins and minerals that are like warriors against germs and bacteria.
Plus, if you need to take your cough medicine, it’s good to do so after having a healthy meal because doing so will reduce potential side effects such as stomach sensitivity. Although there are cough syrups and pills that are safe to take even on an empty stomach, it’s still better to medicate when your stomach has something in it.
4. Do not drink milk when you have a cold and cough.
There’s no scientific evidence that proves milk is bad for people, particularly children with cough and colds. Milk can actually be helpful because it is loaded with nutrients. Young children who lose their appetite when sick can drink milk instead of eating a full meal.
However, do not disregard an adverse reaction to this dairy product when you are sick. People who feel like they get a residue in their mouth after drinking milk that makes them cough should hold off on dairy, at least until they are better.
5. Wear socks.
This is another favorite piece of advice for people who are sick: Wear warm socks and do not walk on floors with your bare feet. Follow this one because it is medically proven to be effective in treating a full-blown cough and cold, as well as preventing it.
This, however, is recommended not because the virus can enter your body through the feet. The virus that causes a cold is already present in the nose, and it spreads when there’s a significant drop in the body temperature, which can happen from the feet.
According to a study conducted at the University of Cardiff, cold feet cause the blood vessels in the nose to constrict, which then prevents virus-fighting white blood cells from circulating throughout the body to perform their job. So, keep those feet warm.
Aim to follow the information here so you can deal better when you are struck with the common cold and cough, as well as strengthen your resistance to it in the future.