Updated: May 31
Today while running in the fields, a woman running towards us moved over to the side and told us to pass because she was in isolation due to having Covid! Although I was surprised that someone who was positive for Covid would be out at all, I was more shocked that instead of letting her body heal, she was out running.
Even if you have minor symptoms of an illness, your body’s immune system is working hard to protect you. Please do all you can to help your body fully get over the illness, so you do not have a relapse or end up with a lingering cough, fever, continued achiness, tiredness and/or weakness.
Accept You Are Sick
If you have been diagnosed with Covid, the flu or another illness, accept that your body needs to heal. If you have Covid please know that it can take weeks and for Long Covid even months to fully get over the illness.
Please listen to your body. If you are feeling weak, take it easy. Don’t blame yourself for being tired or lazy. Your body simply needs more time to heal. By overexerting yourself while still in the healing phase, you might prevent yourself from healing faster.
Many times a person gets a relapse of their illness because they simply went back to work too early. Always give yourself at least one more day of home rest after being ill. By staying home one more day – you may prevent having to stay home for another week or more due to a relapse.
Sleep to Help Your Immune System Work
In the past I have discussed the importance of sleep to prevent illness. Sleeping and resting are important do help you get over an illness as well.
You may think that while you sleep all the body's functions are at rest, but while you sleep your cells regenerate, your body repairs itself and it is also the time that your immune system goes into high gear. If you are ill or not getting over your illness, try to sleep more so that you won’t compromise your immune system and your health!
The Lingering Cough
Many times after the flu or other illness a cough can continue for several weeks. Sometimes talking too much or exertion can make it worse. Always check with your health practitioner if your cough persists. Sometimes a cough can be due to a complication from your illness. Sometimes you can have walking pneumonia and not realize it.
I am not a physician, therefore I can not recommend that you take any supplement or food for a cough, so please check with your health provider for possible herbs, foods or supplements that might help reduce your cough.
I have used the following to help myself and my family get rid of a cough:
An onion cut in half and placed on a plate on the nightstand next to the bed, while sleeping with a closed bedroom door. I repeat with a new onion each night for three consecutive nights, even if the cough goes away earlier. (I know there have been some unfounded posts on the internet that say an onion absorbs illnesses, turns black and should be thrown out. I happily cook the onion the following day. It is amazingly sweet!)
If the cough is really stubborn, I slice the top of an onion, core out the center leaving the bottom intact. I fill the hole with honey, cover the onion with it’s top and place it in a closed container. After letting it stand in the fridge overnight, I take a tsp of syrup from inside the onion (or from what has seeped out into the container.)
I have made tea using the herb marshmallow to stop a persistent cough. Check how with an herbalist.
I take natural lozenges with me when I go out in case I have a coughing spell. I’ve used Zinc, Sambucol and Tannenblut Lozenges.
And of course the old favorite tea with honey.
Remove The Three Whites
In our family if someone is ill we remove the "three whites" from our diet: White sugar (actually all sugar,) White flour and (White) milk.
Sugar stops the neutrophils (a type of white blood cell) from engulfing and destroying bacteria. Research shows this weakening of the immune system begins 30 minutes after ingesting glucose, fructose, sucrose, processed honey and even processed orange juice and can continue for up to 5 hours! Please think twice before eating something sweet while you are trying to heal.
Although you most probably will not find research on the subject, most people who sing know that drinking or eating milk products causes phlegm and should be avoided before singing. For the same reason, we avoid milk products especially when ill. We have also found that products made from white flour do the same.
Try removing the three whites to get better. After seeing posts on social media, please, please, please - do not send ice cream or sweets to friends who are ill with Covid. Your gift may keep them from healing!
Reflexology to the Rescue
Sometimes despite doing all the right things to get better, an illness just seems to linger on. This is where Reflexology can be so important. Reflexology can help the body get over an illness that has dragged on.
Think of Reflexology as pressing the "reset" button on your computer after trying everything else to get your program to work again. By pressing points on your feet and/or hands, Reflexology can help you restart again stronger and may help you finally get over that lingering illness.
I made this clip showing how to use hand reflexology for colds and sinuses, but it is also good for stopping coughs. This has often saved me when I coughed in my sleep and didn’t want to get out of bed to get a hot drink or syrup to stop the cough. I actually learned and used this years before I even knew what reflexology was!
Exercise with Precaution After Covid
Overexertion during any illness can prevent healing, but Covid can sometimes cause complications to the heart muscle. Overexertion with this complication can be dangerous even after the symptoms of the illness pass.
So how long should you wait after getting over Covid before resuming sports activities? The recommendations vary with the most conservative being 2 - 3 weeks after symptoms pass. This is partially due to symptoms worsening 7 - 14 days after contracting the illness. Others recommend resuming exercise after waiting 7 - 10 days after being symptom free.
It is best to consult with your physician, to begin working out moderately and to be aware of how you are feeling. Consult your physician if you have chest pain, palpitations or shortness of breath.
I recommend reading this article to learn more about how to slowly resume activity after having Covid:
After receiving the 3rd vaccine, I developed swelling in my lymph nodes. A week after I felt fine and participated in a 10K race. During the race I felt that it was more difficult for me than usual so I dropped out of the race. I didn’t want to take a chance that I might be causing damage to myself.
It actually took me several weeks till I felt that I returned to my level of running that I had before the 3rd vaccine. I also went for a Stress Echocardiogram ( an ultrasound that checks the heart muscle to assess heart function under physical stress) to make sure my heart muscle had not been affected by the vaccine. Thankfully the results were fine, but my doctor said I may have had some inflammation in my heart muscle after the vaccine, which could have explained why I was having more difficulty running. I am thankful that I listened to my body and dropped out of the race.
Listen to your body, consult with your physician, and slowly work up to your exercise or workout level pre-Covid. Certainly don’t work out while you are still ill with Covid as the woman we met was doing this morning.
Be well. --
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