From December onwards, cold and flu germs become especially common, and the danger can continue for months. So, what can you do to minimize your risk of catching a cold or flu at the time of year when you are most susceptible to (even more so if you have kids)?
The following advice covers good hand hygiene, vitamins and supplements and more.
Keep an eye on the weather: Germs tend to be more numerous in dull and misty conditions with low cloud. That’s because moister weather gives viruses a longer period of time in which to survive, while the germs are also less likely to be blown away from water droplets, given the lack of wind.
Wash your hands frequently: The transmission of infections may often be attributed to someone carrying germs sneezing in close vicinity to you. However, germs can also be transmitted by physical contact, with infected hands only needing to touch other vulnerable areas like mouths and eyes to allow the germs’ entrance into the body.
That’s why you are advised to guard against this risk by not only frequently washing your hands, but also using disposable paper towels to dry them – or at least routinely laundering hand towels. It’s helpful to keep a bottle of sanitizer handy just in case.
Keep yourself well hydrated: It’s been recommended by doctors that you drink the equivalent of about eight glasses of water a day, but when there’s a risk of cold and flu, adequate hydration only becomes even more important. If you are dehydrated, toxins can more easily accumulate in your body and will be ‘flushed out’ less often. Keeping your fluid levels up is also an effective way of flooding out the infection if you already have a cold.
Get enough sleep: Some of us struggle to get adequate sleep amid our often busy and stressed lifestyles, but it’s vital to sleep well if you are to protect yourself against infection throughout the winter.
Stock up on those vitamins and supplements: Not only are you at greater risk of infection during the winter, but you may also be struggling to consume sufficient fresh fruit and vegetables a day… which is why a daily multivitamin can be so vital. Keep in mind that your vitamins aren’t meant to replace proper nutrition but to be a buffer for those days when you can’t or don’t get your max servings of fruits and veggies.
Your Turn? What do you do to keep yourself healthy during cold and flu season?