It was Sunday afternoon and I wasn’t really feeling myself. Something was up, so I went down for a mid-afternoon nap.
This was most likely the fact that for the past two days, I had almost literally avoided food and water in preparation for my first photo shoot.
Probably nothing. I ate a big meal right before the nap and my belly finally felt satisfied. I would just sleep it off and be fine.
But, when I woke up, my throat was legitimately sore and I felt it. Swallowing was a chore and I felt worse than before.
“Hey Keeelllly…” I rasped.
“Yeah? What’s Up?”
“I think I need to go to a walk-in.”
There were no maybes about it. I had to accept the daunting truth.
I had a man cold.
“It’s 6 PM on a Sunday. You’ll have to wait til the morning.” By this time she was in the bedroom – and I was putting on a show.
“Uuhhhhaaahhhhh. What should I do?”
“Well, you can start by dropping that man cold shit right now.”
Oh. Welp, I guess that’s that then.
My girlfriend’s way of saying suck it up, princess.
Your significant other may have different ideas, but the truth is, the best way to get over a cold IS to baby it. You and your spouse may have differing opinions on what “babying” means, but that’s another story.
Your body is working overtime to fight a foreign invader and you’re trying to go about your normal day, wondering why you feel like a bus hit you.
Other than the fact that your head is all stuffed up, you have every reason to feel exhausted.
When you have a cold, take a day.
Get the Netflix fired up, a box of Kleenex close by and settle in. As much as you may want to get things done around the house (like I did), just don’t.
Hopefully, your significant other goes to work so they can’t see you being a complete baby.
I will repeat it.
When you’re sick, you need to rest!
This includes sleep at night. Not only do you need more sleep with less physical and mental stress during the day, but you’re probably not sleeping as soundly as you normally would.
You’re sniffling and coughing here and there. You’re probably propped up on about 4 pillows, and your mind is most likely racing about all the stuff you didn’t get done that day.
Stay in bed for a little while longer. You need it.
Eat and Drink (Water)
“Feed a cold, starve a fever.”
Boy, do I ever take this one to heart.
First of all, you’re doing nothing all day. If you’re anything like me, once you’ve lost interest in the terrible daytime TV show you’re watching, your mind immediately gravitates to food.
Second, as I said above, your body is working overtime to fight something, and it needs the energy to do so.
As long as you feel hungry, you gotta eat.
Chicken noodle soup is obviously the all-time go-to, but I managed to put back five homemade waffles, an enchilada and leftover guacamole along with three bowls of chicken noodle goodness.
Yeah, I got ‘er done.
If you feel stuffed up but can’t get anything out, steam and humidity is your friend.
There’s a reason they call winter in the Great White North “cold season”. It’s because the dry environment is a breeding ground for viruses. The influenza virus (the common flu), loves dry environments.
So boil a pot of water and once it’s boiling, pull it off the heat and drop in some ginger root. Put a towel over your head and lower your face as close as you can. Breathe in that sweet, sweet ginger steam.
The ginger, in combination with the humidity, will help open your airways and stimulate the nerves that lead to mucus production. Remember, we want to get it OUT.
I can tell you from experience, this is WAY more pleasant than using those damn Neti Pots.
Teas are another good option, mainly just to get fluids in the body.
I have a couple favourites and both include ginger for the reasons listed above. Although it can have some bite, I find ginger often helps clear my sinuses, at least for the time being.
You can also toss some garlic in there if you can stand it. It is a well known natural antibiotic that can help you stop coughing, open up your respiratory passages and even lower a fever.
Classic Hot Toddy
- Boiling Water
- Lemon Juice
- Honey (to soothe your sore throat)
- Ginger (to clear the airways)
- Whiskey or Bourbon (because, why not?)
- Boiling Water
- Your Favourite Tea (Bag or Loose Leaf)
Check those out next time you’re sick. Hell, I’d give ’em a rip after a long day at work.
It’s funny because as a fitness professional I always try to err on the side of caution when it comes to drugs. I would much rather cure something naturally than numb the pain with a band-aid.
But one of my physician clients made a good point about this.
You’ve got a virus. That virus is going to stick around for 7 to 14 days no matter what.
So why not feel better?
Of course, the above points will help, but a little medication goes a long way.
Because mine started off as a sore throat and everything else felt fine, I went with Advil for a couple days. Once it moved into my head, I switched it up to DayQuil during the day and NyQuil to help me sleep.
Just ask my girlfriend what happened when I wasn’t on the drugs…
Let’s be honest, no matter how much flack we get, then man cold is real.
The man cold is a virus like no other and we can’t help that only the one gender is affected by it.
So next time you’re down for the count, own it, take the day, and wait ’til the wife is at work to call your mom.
In sickness and in health,
Are you sick of writing your own programs and never feeling like you're making any progress? Is your body unable to keep up with your brain when you're competing? It's time for Pain Free Performance, MSC's newest group coaching program. You'll never have to worry about your training again AND you'll have a team to compete with and learn from.