Top tips to keep the winter illnesses at bay

Top tips to keep the winter illnesses at bay

If you’re dreading the colder weather because you usually fall victim to colds, flu and other illnesses, take heart, because there’s a lot you can do to ‘winter proof’ your body and reduce the risk of becoming sick. 

Common winter illnesses 

One of the most prevalent winter illnesses is the common cold. Lasting up to 10 days, cold symptoms can vary from person to person, but can include: 

 

          1. runny nose or sneezing 
          2. sore throat or mild cough
          3. mild headache or mild fever
          4. slight aches and pains
          5. mild tiredness.
          6. ,

Not to be confused with a cold is the more serious and longer-lasting flu. Lasting for as long as 14 days, symptoms generally come on quickly and may include: 

 

          1. a dry throat or occasional sore throat
          2. dry cough that may become more severe and produce mucous
          3. occasional sneezing
          4. headache (more severe than a cold)
          5. high fever (39.4°C and above) chills, shivering or sweating. You can check for fever using a thermometer 
          6. aches and pains
          7. severe fatigue

 

While there’s not much you can do to shorten a cold or flu, there are many over-the-counter products that can help relieve symptoms. Vicks Vaposteam can help relieve coughs associated with colds, while Bosistos eucosteam inhaler can help remove mucus from the mucous membranes and clear the airways, making it easier to breathe freely. 

For most people colds are merely an inconvenience, and the flu a moderately severe illness. However, those with medical conditions (e.g. heart disease, bronchitis, immune disorders, or cancer), and the elderly, may suffer more than most, and could develop complications. 

 

Hand-washing is your best friend 

The single most effective way to protect against a wide range of illnesses, including colds, flu and other infections is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. You should wash your hands before and after preparing food, eating, and caring for a sick person. You should also wash them after using the toilet, blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, or touching common surfaces. If hand soap isn’t available, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser may be used. 

 

Secrets to a healthy immune system 

A key to staying well and beating winter illness is to build a healthy immune system to help ward off germs. Following a healthy lifestyle is the best way to improve your immune health. 

 

          1. Eat healthy - A diet containing a good balance of vitamins and minerals offers the best protection. In particular, you should get ensure you get plenty of vitamin A (found in orange-coloured fruits and veggies); vitamin C (leafy greens, capsicums, Brussels prouts, strawberries, citrus fruits and papaya are good sources); and vitamin D (found in fish liver oil, eggs, and fatty fish such as salmon). Vitamin D is also made by the body as a by-product o fthe skin's exposure to sunlight. 
          2. Get plenty of sleep - Research has shown that sleep helps to regulare your immune system, while lack of sleep compromises it. 
          3. Exercise regularly - It may not be possible for everyone, but regular exercise has been shown to improve the immune system and reduce your risk for colds and other upper respiratory infections. 
          4. Reduce stress - Stress and tension can play havoc with your immune function, thereby increasing your risk of becoming ill. So make time for the things that relax you and avoid people and situatiouns that cause you to feel tense. 
          5. ,

 

What about supplements? 

Sometimes, achieving optimal nutrition through diet alone is difficult. That’s where vitamin supplements can come in handy. Taking a supplement like Cenovis multivitamin and minerals can help fill any nutritional gaps to ensure that you’re helping your immune system to be as healthy as possible. 

This winter, you don’t have to fall victim to the usual ills and chills. By taking some positive action you can enjoy good health this season. 

Please note the information supplied is general in nature. Please consult your medical practitioner for individual advice. 

 

References 

ABC Science, Study Proves Exercise Boosts Immune System http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2010/11/02/3054621.htm  

British Journal of Sports Medicine, Upper respiratory tract infection is reduced in physically fit and active adults, D C Nieman, DA Henson, MD Austin, W Sha, published online 1 November 2010, http://bjsm.bmj.com/content/45/12/987

Cleveland Clinic, Eat These Foods to Boost Your Immune System, http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2015/01/eat-these-foods-to-boost-your-immune-system/

Hand Hygiene Australia, What is Hand Hygiene?  https://www.hha.org.au/hand-hygiene/hha

Harvard Medical School, How to Boost Your Immune System  https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system

Mayo Clinic, Fever  https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/fever/symptoms-causes/syc-20352759

Prevention, 15 Ways to Stay Healthy This Winter  https://www.prevention.com/health/g20487629/winter-health-guide/

Sleep Health Foundation, Sleep Your Way to Health  https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/more/sleep-blog/while-you-are-sleeping.html

Web MD, How to Use Your Immune System to Stay Healthy  https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/how-use-your-immune-system-stay-healthy#1