Yes, it is that time of the year when Cold and Flu Management for Singers is all important!

We all know how frustrating it is to have a cold or flu and have to stop practising, stop rehearsing… stop doing what we love which is sing. And subsequently we can lose technique, precious time, not learning songs and lyrics and whatever it is for the performance that we are preparing for.

The techniques that I am going to give you here are going to greatly help you out and get you back up on your feet as quickly as we possibly can.

1. If you feel a cold or flu coming on try to get on to every I am going to tell you here on Day one. Do not do this 2, 3,4,5,6 days down the track because it’s no good then when the cold and flu has full grip. This is so you can nip it in a bud before it gets worse and blows out to something bigger and longer.

2. The main point when you are sick is to stay hydrated (room temperature water). Drink as much as you possibly can so we can flash the system and the bug out. When you’re sick, you don’t always want to drink water but please stay hydrated as it is very important.

3. Load up a lot of Vitamin C. Get this from fruits, get it from the natural sauce, buy a bag of oranges or kiwi fruit as they are very high in Vitamin C. Have 4 or 5 pieces of vitamin C fruit a day. Don’t like fruit? Then please go to the chemist and buy some ascorbic acid powder instead but remember it is better if you get from the natural source = fruit.
# Fact, Guava has the most vitamin C out of any fruit or vegetable and Kiwi fruit is the second.

4. Good quality of vitamins or supplements is also very important. I personally take a good quality multivitamin when I’m sick. I take B Vitamins, cod liver oil tablets, cold eaze tablets. Cold eaze tablets have Zinc, Echinacea, Vitamin C and Garlic in them, you can get this product from your health food stores, chemist or supermarket.

5. Load up onions or garlic – they really build your immune system up!! Yes, your partner and your family aren’t going to like this because you’re going to smell but you’re going to feel the difference, it really works wonders.

6. Olive leaf extract or Echinacea extract in a liquid form is very good. I have some students that absolutely believe in both of these. They take these products and they never have colds. When they feel that symptoms of colds coming along, they start taking these and it never builds into anything more than a minor cold or sniffles.

7. If I have a sore throat, I gargled betadine throat gargle – it’s absolutely fantastic, I gargle this a couple of times every hour. If I am not able to gargle betadine as a substitute, I will gargle warm salty water instead.

8. Good Quality throat lozenges, not lollies. Anything that has an antibacterial agent in it. I highly recommend strepsils, strepfen, throat clear, difflam and betadine throat lozenges. Please avoid any lozenges that have mental or eucalyptus in them as they can strip the natural mucus lining off the vocal cords.

9. Rest – very important when you have a cold or flu because your body is fighting an allergy. So get as much rest vocally and physically as you can so that your body can go to work and try to get rid of what it’s fighting as quickly as you can.

Some other Interesting facts here:
• A common cold is going to last between 5-7 days, your common flu for 7-10 unless you’re not resting and abusing yourself. Though if you are doing everything I have told you above, it might well only last 1 or 2 days. So please try these things that I have given you here, see what works for you so that you can eliminate your cold as quickly as possible.
• If you’re cold or flu is lasting longer or you got sick very quickly are coughing up coloured phlegm that might be green or grey in colour please go to your doctor. Coloured phlegm is a definite sign that you have an infection, ask your doctor to give you some antibiotics so you could get rid of this as quickly as you can and to make sure that it does not turn into a secondary infection such as laryngitis.

Hope these handy hints have helped you out so that you can keep singing. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you next month!

Peter Vox