Seasonal Colds & Flu ~ Health Wiz


Cold and Flu – What is your body telling you?

Do you find yourself regularly catching the common cold? Or do you pride yourself on never being sick?

What is your body really telling you when you develop a sniffle, head cold or a full blown case of the dreaded flu?

Recently I had a mild head cold which lasted for two long weeks. I did all of the ‘right’ things but still did not get better! I…..

  • rested and relaxed
  • ate lots and lots of chicken and vegetable soup
  • sat by the fire and read books
  • slept
  • gobbled nutritional supplements like they were lollies – vitamin C, bioflavonoids, multivitamins

But, the germs still hung on and began to drive me slowly insane.

A mentor of mine and health care practitioner once warned that as a health professional and naturopath people would expect me to be 100% healthy, 100% of the time, and now I know he was right!

During my recent bout of illness I was almost ashamed to admit that I felt less than healthy. However, we are all human and fighting germs all day long (especially in winter time!) Here are some tips that finally helped me to overcome the dreaded germs!

What to do when you find yourself coming down with a cold or flu…..

Boost your antioxidants.

Ensure you have plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Try adding some extra antioxidants to your diet each day. One of the best ways to do this is by making green smoothies (kale, chard, celery, broccoli, spinach and lettuce) and adding some citrus such as lemon, grapefruit or orange for the vitamin C content. Yes they are made of rabbit food, but the benefits are undeniable!

Rest up.

When we are unwell our body literally forces us to rest, to nurture ourselves, to slow down. So put your feet up and read a good book, take a nap, sleep late if you can. Acknowledge your body and give yourself the time you need – even if it means taking sick leave from your job.

Take a quick health check.

When you are unwell, this is a perfect opportunity to reflect on your overall health and ask yourself a few questions….

Am I looking after my body/mind?

Is my lifestyle supporting my health and well-being?

Do I feel healthy all or most of the time?

If you answered no to one or more of those questions, it may be time to make some changes to your routine so that you are supporting yourself to be the healthy person that you want to be.

Gentle exercise.

While you are sick it is best to keep high impact exercise to a minimum, but gentle stretching, a light walk or workout can be an excellent way to increase your circulation, improve your mood and help to clear toxins from the body. Just be sure not to over-do it!

So next time you get a cold, flu or illness take a moment to discover what your body is really trying to tell you.

Elizabeth is an Australian physiotherapist, health writer and naturopath-in-the-making. Elizabeth works in a busy physiotherapy practice in Adelaide South Australia where she integrates her passion for natural health and nutritional medicine with her love for manual therapy and Pilates therapeutic exercise programs. Elizabeth provides a well-rounded, holistic approach to disease prevention and life-long health maintenance.

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