A healthy immune system is key to staving off colds and flu.
As the winter weather sets in, you might not be able to completely prevent colds, but you may avoid them by keeping your immune system healthy
Eat foods containing phytochemicals
A healthy diet can strengthen your immune system, and help to stave off cold and flu infections. Fruits and vegetables that are dark green, red and yellow contain phytochemicals, which give your body a vitamin boost. Low-fat proteins, complex carbohydrates and probiotics are also great for nutrition and immunity.
Also, keep up your fluids and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and cleanse your body.
Germs enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, so avoid putting your hands close to your face or allowing others to touch your face during the cold and flu season. Washing your hands regularly is one of the most effective ways to prevent colds, especially if you’re out in public with others. You may like to carry hand sanitiser with you, wipe down germy areas, such as tabletops and public transport railing, and encourage others to also wash their hands.
It’s a good idea to have the latest seasonal flu vaccination as soon as it is available. Flu vaccines are one of the most effective ways to protect against the flu viruses going around each year. Head to your doctor or participating pharmacy to access your shot and click here to see if you’re eligible for a free vaccination.
Exercise not only makes you feel great and helps you stay fit, it also boosts your immune system and helps prevent you becoming sick. To increase your body’s natural virus-killing cells, do aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise increases your heartrate and breathing, which increases the oxygen to your blood and sends blood around your vital organs. Sweating helps rid your body of toxins that can make you sick.
During winter, wearing natural fibres will keep you warm while allowing your body to breathe. Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester and rayon, do not breathe well, and can cause you to sweat, which can cause you to shiver, depressing the immune system and making you susceptible to cold infections. The best fabrics to wear during winter are loose-fitting wool (particularly merino) and cotton, both of which are insulating and breathable.
Sleeping well is important for healthy immune function. Insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality is associated with lowered immune function, so getting enough shut-eye each night can help with preventing colds. It isn’t just about sleeping longer. It’s about adopting a regular sleeping routine and ensuring you’re in a comfortable sleeping environment to ensure better quality sleep.
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