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7 Tips for a speedy flu recovery
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The flu is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus. Flu symptoms typically last about a week, but the most severe symptoms only occur for two to three days. You might continue to experience fatigue, weakness, and a cough for another week after you recover.
Coming down with the flu can be downright miserable. Here are 7 tips to help you recover more quickly.
1. Stay home
Your body needs time and energy to fight off the flu virus, which means that your daily routine should be put on the backburner.
You may be tempted to go grocery shopping or get ahead on laundry for the week, but you’d be doing yourself a disservice. Stay home from work or school, and put errands on hold until you start to feel better.
On top of helping you recover, staying home also prevents spreading the flu to other people in your community or workplace. The flu can be dangerous for older adults and small children, so it’s vital that you avoid contact with others while you’re contagious.
One symptom of the flu is a high fever, which can lead to sweating. You might also be dealing with bouts of vomiting or diarrhea. Your body needs plenty of fluids to replace lost liquids, and even more to fight off the infection.
Water is best, but you can also drink herbal teas or tea with honey. These can have a soothing effect on your symptoms while keeping you hydrated. Two things you should always avoid, though, are alcohol and caffeine.
3. Sleep as much as possible
Sleep is the best medicine for your body while fighting the flu. Watching TV curled up on the couch isn’t a bad idea, but you shouldn’t be binge-watching your favorite Netflix show all night long.
Go to bed earlier than usual and sleep in. You can also take a nap during the day to give your body more time to recover. Rest and sleep also reduces your risk of serious flu complications, like pneumonia.
4. Ease your breathing
It can be difficult to sleep with a stuffy nose and cough. Try these tips to breathe easier and have a better night’s sleep: use an extra pillow to prop up your head and ease sinus pressure and sleep with a humidifier or vaporizer in the room. Also you can take a hot bath or shower before bed.
5. Eat healthy foods
You may be tempted to drown your sorrow in a bowl of ice cream and a bag of potato chips, but your body needs better nutrition to recover from the flu.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that strengthen your immune system as it fights off the virus.
You might not have much of an appetite, but it’s still important to eat regular meals to maintain your strength.
6. Add moisture to the air
Dry air can make your symptoms worse. A vaporizer or humidifier adds moisture to the air and can help loosen up congestion.
There are many types of humidifiers and vaporizers available on the market. Examples include cool-mist humidifiers and steam vaporizers. These can be found easily for a reasonable price at your local big-box store, pharmacy, or online.
7. Have a spoonful of honey to soothe a cough
Honey is a fairly common natural remedy for soothing a sore throat or cough. Mixing honey with tea is a great way to stay hydrated while also treating your flu symptoms.