Zinc lozenges have gotten mixed reviews as cold relievers; now researchers are looking at zinc nasal sprays and gels. In one study, when 160 cold sufferers used either a zinc nasal spray or a placebo, both groups' symptoms lasted a week. In another study of 213 people, those who applied zinc gel (Zicam Cold Remedy, available over the counter) to their nostrils had symptoms for 2.3 days, compared to 9 days for those who used a placebo.

And while you're waiting for your cold to go away, feel free to exercise moderately -- it won't affect how long your symptoms last or how severe they are, the American College of Sports Medicine reports.