How to avoid getting ill this winter?

Winter is just around the corner and with it, naturally, comes widespread contamination of the common cold and flu. Everyone’s had the groggy feeling of a cold on a windy and chilly day or even the feeling of waking up with a blocked nose after a seemingly fine sleep. Usually these aren’t enough to restrain us from going into work so how can we avoid getting such illness and their disrupting symptoms altogether?

Here are some top tips:

1- Get an Annual Flu Shot

Some say the best defence is a good offense and in this case it really is. The best prevention strategy for influenza is an annual vaccination. This is particularly important for people who are at high risk or are severely affected by the flu.

2- Wash Your Hands Regularly

This should be good practice for all of us in order to decrease our exposure to germs and disease, however, it is especially important to make this routine during the winter. Germs on your hands can easily spread inside the body if you touch your eyes, ears, face or mouth. A simple rinse is not enough. Make sure you get right in between the fingers and thumbs as well as the wrists.

3- Wrap Up Warm

Simple but effective. A lack of sunlight and any subsequent shivering negatively effects our immune systems and makes us more vulnerable to illness. Furthermore, up to 30% of our body heat is lost through our heads so when wrapping up warm, don’t forget to wear a hat!

4- Exercise Regularly

Regular exercise is beneficial to our bodies for numerous reasons and it becomes even more beneficial in winter times. This is due to the fact that it keeps our circulation moving and also helps keep the body warm. Furthermore, regular exercise increase the effectiveness of our immune systems. “When you exercise, NK levels go up and stay elevated for about 36 hours afterwards” says Dr William Bird. ‘However, if you exercise too much, this will actually lower levels of NK cells.’

5- Sleep Well

Sufficient sleep, as long as it is of good quality, does wonders for our bodies. Not only will a lack of sleep increase our susceptibility to illness as our bodies do not have as much energy to fight off disease but sleep can help rid us of negative moods and stress. If you feel down or stressed your body is less likely to fight off infection effectively.

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