7 ways to stop yourself getting a cold this year

(Image: iStock)
(Image: iStock)

Winter is here and flu season is in full swing, with coughs and sniffs heard far and wide around the country.

The best way to fight colds and flu is to not get them in the first place! If you're sick of being sick with a cold, then it's time to learn some prevention techniques.

Prevention is always better than cure, and good health habits like opting to cough into your elbow rather than your hand and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu.

So, if you want help to stay healthy and avoid spreading infection have a read through our seven sure-fire ways on how to protect yourself from those winter germs and help stop the spread of colds and flu: 

Stay hydrated

Bacteria and toxins thrive when they are not flushed out regularly and staying hydrated helps to flush them out of your body and organs.  You can ensure you get plenty of fluids through drinking water, eating soups and even through freshly squeezed fruit juices – which in turn can help with your vitamin intake as well. Staying hydrated is also known to keep your respiratory system lubricated – dampening the chances of stubborn phlegm getting a grip on you. However, avoid sugary drinks as they often carry inflammatory properties and can increase mucus production.

Strengthen your gut

A strong immune system is reliant on a healthy and well-functioning gut. In fact, the microbes that call our gut home are not only there to help us digest food, but also play a role in regulating our immune system. Be sure to fill your gut with foods that are rich in nutrients, vitamins and probiotics. These foods often have antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties and help fend off bad bacteria looking to overthrow and compromise the politics of your digestive system. Likewise, it is advised to avoid processed foods as these can allow a platform for bad bacteria and viruses to flourish and thrive. Foods that boast pre- and probiotic properties include yoghurt, kefir, kimchi and kombucha to name a few. While foods that are rich in good nutrients and vitamins, like Vitamin C, iron, calcium and magnesium, include: fresh vegetables like carrots, squash and spinach as well as fruits like lemon, strawberries, kiwi and guava to name a few.

woman buying fruit and vegetables market

(Image: iStock)

Give your body a boost with supplements

If you’d like to take your cold and flu protection up a notch, there are plenty of supplements available that that will help strengthen your immune system against colds and flu. With many people, especially mothers, preferring natural products that offer immune support or cold and flu treatment, it’s worth choosing clinically proven herbal products made from fresh plant ingredients. Products made using fresh plant ingredients contain more active ingredients than dried. One example is A.Vogel’s Echinaforce which comes in both tablet and drop form.  The combination of fresh Echinacea purpurea herb and root is how this product obtains its well-researched immune strengthening, antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits.  

Wash your hands and keep your environment clean and well ventilated

Wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before you eat and after you cough or sneeze to stop the spread of viruses. Don’t rub your eyes and nose if you haven’t just washed your hands as your eyes, nose and mouth are where cold and flu viruses enter your body and infect you. There is also a more natural hand sanitising option that won’t leave you high and dry – lavender essential oil. Be sure to keep your living space and environment clean by dusting regularly, wiping frequently used  surfaces down with cleaners – a good natural recommendation is a 100% pure tea tree oil, which boasts antibacterial and antiseptic properties. And a well-ventilated space is one that reduces the risk of bacteria thriving, so be sure to air your space out regularly by opening windows or investing in houseplants like aloe vera to clean out the air or even a de-humidifier to avoid mould.

family washing hands

(Image: iStock) 

Stay warm

The weather has dropped to icy degrees this winter and the best way to aid yourself against flu and cold bugs is by keeping your body warm – particularly, your chest and feet. Keeping your chest warm will help fight off any bacteria trying to thrive in your airways – where viruses are known to spread easily in the cold. As for your feet – they are known to be regulators for your body warmth and can help control your body temperature, so if your feet are cold, the rest of your body will feel cold as well.

Get Moving

Another recommended way to avoid susceptibility to colds and flu making the rounds is to keep up to date with your regular exercise routine. Exercise improves cardiovascular activity allowing for your body to increase blood circulation throughout your body and to your lungs. This aids the movement of cells and substances of your immune system through your body to help them do their job in protecting you against viruses.

Rest Up

Just as important as exercise is to avoid sickness, it is also important to take time to rest and practice good sleep hygiene. It is important to ensure you get your fill of sleep and avoid fatigue so that your body can function properly and without depleting your energy. A good estimate is to aim for at least seven hours of sleep and to opt for a 20-minute nap on days you fall short of this.

woman sleeping

(Image: iStock) 

*Talk with your healthcare professional about the best treatment for you or your loved one’s illness.

*Do not use A.Vogel Echinaforce® Echinacea Drops or Tablets if you are:

  • Allergic to Echinacea or to plants in the Asteraceae (Compositae) family
  • Individuals who suffer from any form of autoimmune disease or who are taking immunosuppressants must please consult their healthcare practitioner before using this product

As with any medication, always inform your healthcare practitioner of all medicines you are taking, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

This post is sponsored by A.Vogel Echinaforce produced by Brandstudio24 for Health24.

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