Whilst I do suffer from hayfever at the turn of the seasons, I actually haven’t been sick with a cold or flu in a good while.  I find exercising, eating well and generally treating my body right keeps illnesses at bay however even doing all of these things hasn’t seem to stop me from catching some nasties from somewhere.  I blame sitting in an air-conditioned office for this – a haven for germs, circulating round and round creeping into people’s bodies when they are certainly not invited in nor wanted… it’s disgusting.   And totally rude.

So, as I sit here sniffling away and coughing into my lunch, I wonder what I can do to make myself feel better and quickly… Here’s where my trusty friend Google enters the equation!

  • Essential thyme oil in a vapouriser helps ease a sore throat as does making a tea with dried thyme, oregano or sage and a little honey. Add a teaspoon of the herb, strain, add honey and take every hour or as needed.  You can keep a jug of it in the fridge for a day or two.
  • Peppermint can clear blocked noses or sinuses.  Have a cup of peppermint tea or try adding a few tea bags to your bath and inhale the minty aroma.
  • Add a small knob of ginger to a cup of boiling water.  Steep for 5 minutes, drain and add a little honey if desired.
  • Make a big pot of chicken and vegetable soup.  Add loads of garlic and ginger as well as hot peppers (cayenne, curry and chillies).  This ancient home remedy is packed with antiviral and antiseptic properties and helps reduce inflammation.
  • Heat up a little vinegar in a bowl and inhale.  This helps clear chest congestion.

These are things that can definitely be done easily at home rather than take nasty over-the-counter medications.

The next thing that I have to consider is how will this sickness impact my exercise regime?  I haven’t let it stop me so far, although I have been performing at a low or moderate intensity.  Let’s face it, it was just a sore throat at the beginning of the week, I don’t think that’s enough to stop me.  But now that I have developed a chesty cough as well as some aches and pains what’s the deal?

The general rule of thumb is if you have symptoms above the neck, and feel up to exercise, then give it a go.  Exercise can sometimes help you feel better when you have a scratchy throat or sniffily nose.  Use common sense though, if you are ten minutes into your session and feel like hell then stop.

If you have symptoms below the neck like a hacking or rattly cough, fever, body aches and pains then it is probably in your best interests to rest.  More common sense, right?

So, I rode my bike in this morning to work (8km) and struggled quit a bit so I’m now definitely ruling out riding it home.  It can stay chained up in the carpark for now.  I hate missing sessions but I also have to listen to my body and my body totally wants to be horizontal right now.  Which is what I’m planning on doing for the rest of the day and night.

What’s your favourite home remedies for treating sickness?