ANOTHER COST-FREE WAY TO GET BETTER QUICKER?
Find a caring friend or relative to nurse you. A 2009 study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison showed that patients who rated their doctors with a perfect score on an empathy questionnaire were sick one day less than patients with less sensitive doctors. Patients with the most empathetic doctors also showed double the levels of IL‑8, a protein molecule the body releases to fight colds.
DO A BIT OF LIGHT EXERCISE
Although your body needs rest, Dr. Lausier says an excellent way to boost your immune system is with a bit of light exercise. It’s not a surprise that regular exercise helps you fight back against germs. One study from the University of Washington in Seattle showed that overweight or obese postmenopausal women who exercised got fewer colds than those who didn’t. A 2014 review showed that regular moderate-intensity exercise may help prevent a cold, but more research is needed. One explanation, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, may be that exercise helps flush germs out of the lungs and airways.
Chicken soup might really work—though your mom’s special recipe isn’t the reason. In fact, most any clear soup helps because the warm liquid may ease congestion and increase mucus flow. ‘I think chicken soup is great for hydration—hot liquids, salt, and electrolytes,’ Dr. Lausier says.