7 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick This Winter
Don’t let colds and the flu become an inevitable part of your winter holiday plans. Follow these simple 7 steps and make the most of these winter holidays.
- Don’t get cold, stay warm.
When Granny said, “Keep warm” she was right – keeping warm can help in avoiding coughs, colds and flu which are common in this season. Let’s not get comfortable dressing the autumn way when winter is already here. After the remarkably mild autumn, people generally don’t get used to dressing warmly for wintry weather. So if there’s a spontaneous chill, they are more likely to feel the cold and start to shiver.
‘Shivering is a response created by the body which often weakens the immune system and this makes us more likely to catch a cold. Also, lower levels of sunlight and altered levels of hormones such as melatonin and serotonin negatively affect how the immune system performs.’ We lose up to 30per cent of our body heat through our heads which makes wearing a hat essential during winter.
- Keep calm and wash those hands
Most clinical doctors around the world would agree on the fact that although most infections are mainly carried in the air and transmitted when someone sneezes, germs can be transmitted by physical contact and enter the body when infected hands touch vulnerable parts like our eyes, mouths and noses. Our hands offer easy access to invading germs hence washing hands often can significantly reduce the chances of catching a virus, especially the rotavirus, which tends to infect children and induces vomiting and diarrhea.
- Keep an eye on the weatherman.
Frequently during winter we witness low clouds and misty weather conditions which tend to bring an increase in germs. Viruses survive longer in moist weather conditions by hanging in the air attached to water droplets more easily, and when it’s cloudy and dull there are fewer breezes to blow those germs away. We should always watch for such weather conditions as the likelihood of catching something is highly likely during this time.
- Avoid bunching and heating
Most people tend to get closer together physically during winter which makes it easier for infections to pass between people. Crowded trains and with little ventilation, supermarkets, stores bustling with shoppers, and people gathering for parties in crowded pubs all make catching a cold more likely. Central heating reduces our body defences and affects the respiratory system by drying out the protective mucous in our nasal passages. We must frequently let some fresh air come in through a window to avoid sore throats and chest complaints like asthma. A humidifier is a good investment during winter months.
- Don’t miss your doze of Zinc and Garlic
Zinc is an essential mineral which helps to fight colds and provides a boost to a failing immune system. Good food sources include meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, tofu, black- eyed peas and wheat germ. Zinc and Vitamin C make a great cold-busting twosome. Garlic which has ant-fungal and anti-inflammatory qualities helps ease chest complaints, and small amounts taken daily have also been known to reduce the frequency of colds and flu.
- Hydrate thy body well.
It is recommended that we must drink about eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy. Water which is nature’s best known solvent helps the kidneys function properly and flushes out the toxins that accumulate in our bodies.
- Rest and Recoup
A lack of sleep makes us more prone to infection as our bodies need rest to repair against the daily onslaught of stress and fatigue which has become a part of the modern lifestyle. Our moods also affect our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you’re feeling buoyant, happy and relaxed.