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How to prevent colds and flu this winter

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Lizzie Tasker Wellbeing, Tips, Lifestyle...

The nights are drawing in and there’s a chill in the air; there’s no question that winter is approaching, and with it comes cold and flu season. All of a sudden we’re surrounded by people coughing and sneezing in our workplaces and on our commutes. This year, be prepared with our top tips to stay well this winter and do what you can to safeguard you and your family from getting sick. 

Whilst the common cold is caused by a virus, not by the weather, it’s thought that it’s more prevalent in the winter months as the colder conditions allow it to multiply and spread more easily, together with the fact that we are likely to spend more time indoors.  In office environments and shared spaces, the cold and flu virus can be spread easily on desks, telephones, photocopiers and door handles etc.

While there’s no sure fire way to prevent getting sick, now is the time to do what you can and take preventative action! Read on for our top tips:

Boost your immune system

Take care of your body’s natural defences by:

  • Getting plenty of rest and sleep – the body naturally needs more during the darker months
  • Exercise regularly (but don’t overdo it!) - experts recommend around 30 minutes of moderate exercise three times per week
  • Eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods, like fruit and vegetables
  • Relax – being stressed and run down can take its toll on your immune system, take some time out for yourself
  • Quit smoking

Be Hygienic

  • Cough or sneeze into a clean tissue if possible, or at least the crease of your elbow rather than your hand
  • Wash your hands regularly and always after shaking someone’s hand – keep antibacterial gel handy
  • Keep antibacterial wipes in your desk drawer at work and disinfect your desk regularly – including most used items like your keyboard, mouse and phone
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands

Get some fresh air

Wrap up warm and go outside for a walk. This time of year, we can often spend a lot of time indoors with centrally heated or air-conditioned re-circulated air.

Keep your distance

If you see someone coughing and sneezing, keep your distance as much as possible.