5 Ways to Fight a Cold in NYC (When You Ride a Subway of Germs Everyday)


Raise your hand if you fell victim to whatever plague is circling New York City right now! Yup, me too. And now Chris is down for the count and I’m doing everything I can to avoid round two. Whether you’re already sick or bracing for impact, you can take a few steps to ensure your body has what it needs to fight it off.

Hydration is not a joke

So many of your body’s issues could be solved if you just drank enough water. Water dissolves the vitamins and minerals you consume, making it easier for your body to put them to use. Water helps you eliminate waste and flush your body of toxins. It regulates your body temperature, it improves the function of your kidneys, and ultimately boosts your immunity. And I have good news for you, that seltzer water you keep stocked in the fridge as if you’re preparing for the end-of-days? It’s just as hydrating as plain ol’ tap water, but it could make it more difficult to consume the full recommended amount with all those bubbles filling you up.

Sweat for 30 minutes

Sick above the neck? You can still workout, just keep it easy. The commonly held belief that you can sweat out your symptoms has some truth to it, but crushing those miles at your usual intensity may do more harm. Aim for 15-20 minutes of moderate cardio (bring some tissues for the mucus that will likely loosen up while you jog) and another 10-15 minutes of light weights and stretching.


Boost your immune system with supplements

What’s your daily vitamin and supplement routine looking like these days? It’s not just trendy to work some key supplements into your diet, it’s actually truly beneficial to your health and wellness. Along with a daily vitamin to fill those nutrition gaps, consider incorporating supplements like ginger and turmeric during cold and flu season (or all year long to stay on track). I add fresh ginger to smoothies, chew on ginger candies when I’m feeling nauseous, and sip a lemon ginger tea to calm my stomach. Turmeric itself is new to me, but it’s actually a member of the ginger family with strong anti-inflammatory effects. The Ginger People sent me a sampler of all their new ginger and turmeric products to try. My top faves include the Wild Turmeric shots (a super zesty shot of turmeric to boost my immune system), and the Turmeric Latte Mix with tons of antiviral properties.

Wash your hands (and wear gloves on the subway)

That iPhone in your hands right now is carrying 10 times more germs that your toilet seat. Can you imagine what the handrails on the subway must be carrying for pathogens? It seems simple, but wash your hands post-subway ride and if you think of it, snag a few pairs of those cheap knit gloves from a street vendor and keep them in every pocket of every jacket you own so you never have to touch anything on the 7 train with your bare hands.

Try a humidifier at night

Dry air increases the risk of infection and enables the spread of viruses. In order to lower this risk, you need to maintain a relative humidity of 40-60%… Easier said than done in the winter. I love running a humidifier all winter long to help with the dry, static-filled air in my apartment. Make sure you keep the humidifier clean though, because mildew-filled water reservoirs can mix in a whole new issue when you’re trying to fight off any illness.

Here’s hoping your body has what it needs to ward off the illness lurking on the subway. If not, settle in and use it as an excuse to catch up on the Netflix special you been neglecting to watch. Just make sure you’re hydrating, sweating, supplementing, washing, and humidifying between episodes.