With each winter day that passes, I’m grateful that my kids and I have made it without getting sick. I know it sounds dramatic, but so many people around me are sick, and I’m hearing more and more stories of people landing in hospital with bad flu, so I’m happy to remain unscathed so far, and if I’m careful and try to take care of myself, I hope it continues.
There are some basic tips I’ve learnt from the experts over the years, and I think if you’re going to following one bit of advice, it’s wash your hands regularly. Germs lurk everywhere, and I always keep a bottle of antibacterial spray in my handbag, especially after handling things like money, escalator handles and credit card machines. And no, it’s not “OCD”, it’s being smart 🙂
Here are some good habits to prevent colds and flu:
Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick. A virus is spread
predominantly by airborne droplets that are produced when infected people talk,
sneeze or cough.
Drinking water helps to cleanse your body and remove toxins, including illness-causing germs. Try for eight to 10 glasses a day.
Get enough sleep
Not getting enough sleep lowers your immunity, so it’s recommended you
try to get your 7 – 9 hours a night (and 9 – 11 for kids).
Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth
Germs are spread from your hands to your nose, mouth and eyes, so try to
avoid touching these areas. Biting your nails also counts as a no-no.
Disinfect common areas
Viruses live everywhere, so ensure you’re regularly disinfecting things
such as light switches, door knobs, phones, computers, TV remotes, tables and
Eat fruit and veggies
Eating a variety of fruit and veggies (ideally five portions a day), can help the body create more white blood cells that fight infection. While oranges are great for their vitamin C content, it’s good to know that things like broccoli, kiwi fruit and peppers have more.
Eat more fibre
While fibre has the benefit of regulating digestion, it’s also been
shown to boost immunity. Good sources of fibre include wholegrains, fruit,
nuts, vegetables, beans, brown rice and potatoes with skin on.
Whether you smoke cigarettes or just breathe in secondhand smoke, your
immunity is being compromised, and your ability to fight infections is reduced.
Regular physical activity can improve your general health and wellbeing
and bolster your immunity, and therefore reduce the risk of many illnesses,
including colds and flu. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity
exercise four times a week.
Try be happy
Happiness has been shown to boost your immune system, so do more of what makes you smile.
When I get the first signs of a cold, I…
You know that scratchy throat, and when your head starts getting heavy? That’s when you have to nip things in the bud. My plan of action looks like this:
- Try to sleep it off – this is the hardest one, because parenting. And work. And life.
- Start with nasal spray and nasal cleansing – this sounds gross and actually is quite gross, but it’s absolutely brilliant. I also use Linctagon nasal spray.
- I up my vitamin C – whether it’s broccoli or lemon juice. I also find an Indian curry works well too to ease the symptoms or onset of a cold.
- Steamy hot baths or showers help clear my sinuses
- Dose myself with Linctagon-C Effervescent. It has Pelargonium sidoides, which supports the immune system and helps relieve the symptoms of colds and flu. It also contains vitamins A, C and zinc for further immune and antioxidant support (PS: Linctagon has some other products for easing the symptoms of cold and flu such as cough syrup, throat lozenges and nasal spray, and especially for kids there’s Linctagon-C Junior and throat lollies.