Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Taking to my bed!

Yesterday I was taken down by a bug I'd been fending off since Friday and had to admit defeat and have a day of total rest.

I'm not a natural at lying around doing nothing, but when my body tells me to stop I have learnt to listen to it. So I spent the day lying on the sofa, watching some tv but not too much, napping and eating food that involved less than 5 mins preparation.

With the pressures of work and family it isn't always possible to take sick day even when you need it, and Lemsip can be a saviour to get you through when you really can't stop, but at the end of the day you need good old fashioned bed rest to get over a bug properly.

This means staying home, not being physically active and keeping warm to encourage your immune system to fight off the bug. If you're rushing around working your body will register that now isn't a good time to stop and channel all your body's energies into recovering, so instead it will moderate your immune response, ultimately slowing down your recovery.

This is why it's better to take action as soon as you feel ill, clear your diary and stay home, keep warm and get as much sleep as possible - you'll recover quicker rather than soldiering on and feeling rotten for days.

Nutritionally this is a time you need food that is easy to digest, nutritious and warming, hence why soups are so good when you're ill. If you're not stocked up get your flatmate or other half to buy some ready soups, a big bottle of fruit smoothie and a selection of fruit to snack in - you don't need to waste energy cooking so something you can just heat up and eat is ideal.

Also make sure you have the appropriate arsenal in your supplement cupboards.
For me I have two supplements I rely on consistently to speed up my recovery - start taking them as soon as you feel ill and you may even find the bug never really takes hold.

First choice is always vitamin C the virus fighting stalwart. I take 3-6 grams a day, spread out over the day. It might sound a lot but the body can take a lot more and it's used up much quicker when your immune system is fighting off a virus.

Second, I always take a herbal supplement. Whilst everyone thinks of echinacea when it comes to anti-cold herbs, I find it's better as a preventative than a cure. Instead I go for cat's claw or olive leaf, 1-2 capsules three times a day, until I feel fully well. When I start taking them I'm usually better in under 48hrs.

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