11 ways to try and swerve the flu this Winter
December 5th, 2019
Dr Andrew Thornber, Chief Medical Officer at Now Patient
1. Eat well
The cold weather can make us want to comfort eat, especially processed junk food. Try and avoid fatty, unhealthy food and opt for lots of fruit and veg (at least 5 pieces a day) packed with healthy vitamins to give your body a well-deserved boost.
Exercise helps to make your white blood cells (the ones which fight infections) travel through your body faster and do their jobs better, so make sure you’re doing at least 30mins of exercise three times a week to keep your body in the best condition.
3. Wear a scarf
We all know buses; trains and the like are riddled with germs; but what might surprise you is that an everyday winter accessory could do you a lot of favours when it comes to keeping cold and flu at bay. “Wearing a scarf helps a little to prevent inhaling contagious germs,” says Dr Thornber. “It is also worth washing your hands after using public transport too.”
4. Don’t bite your nails
Your nails are a breading ground for germs, so the more you nibble, the more chance you have of developing the infections or the flu.
5. Wash your hands
Wash your hands frequently, especially after eating and using the toilet. A good clean on about 1secs with soap is the best. I’d recommend carrying a little bottle of hand sanitizer to use regularly, to keep germs at bay, especially when travelling on public transport and working at a desk (keyboards are riddled with germs!).
6. Stop stressing
Stress has a huge impact on your body and can play its role in making you more susceptible to getting ill.
7. Get 8 hours sleep
Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.
8. Cut down on your booze
The more you drink the weaker your immune system is and that is when flu and cols will attack. So, cut down on your booze intake.
9. Get your flu jab
If you’re offered the flu jab (mainly over 50s and those with chronic illnesses), then make sure you get it. It’ll give you a stronger chance of fighting off the flu.
10. Take your vitamins
It’s vital to get your RDA for vitamin Eand other antioxidants including A, C and B-complex vitamins and minerals and they have properties that enhance immune response.
11. Don’t smoke
Smoke paralyses the cilia, the hair-like cells lining the nose and airways that sweep incoming viruses away before they can infect.