Winter is the season for nasty colds and flu, so here’s how to stay one step ahead of viruses! The top 5 things you can do to help stay germ-free:
- Wash your hands regularly. Most viruses are airborne – when someone sneezes or coughs, you breathe them in – but they can also be transmitted by touching an infected surface and then touching your eyes, mouth or nose. Washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water, and drying them on disposable paper towels, lowers your risk of picking up a virus.
- Keep warm. Keeping warm can help you avoid colds, coughs and flu. This is because shivering depresses your immune system, making you more open to viruses. Wrap up before you go out into the cold.
- Daily multivitamins. Your daily multivitamin is like “health insurance”. Talk to your pharmacist about a multivitamin that’s best suited to you, and also about a probiotic supplement. Remember, yoghurt with live cultures is also a good source of probiotics.
- Sleep more, stress less. Lack of quality sleep, and persistent stress can weaken your immune system and leave you prone to infection. Aim for 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night, and if you can’t, then try to squeeze in a nap during the day.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Water helps your kidneys function as they should, and helps flush out toxins that collect in your body. If you don’t like water, try adding slices of lemon or orange. Herbal teas also contribute to your daily water intake, so drink up!