A seasonal change is among us and in the next few months the South African weather forecasts will start reflecting colder weather conditions as autumn and winter creeps up on us. Helping your body transition with ease through seasonal changes is important, as colds and flus become a lot more prevalent during these times.
Graham Anderson, CEO and Principal Officer at Profmed says, “You may not be able to completely prevent colds and flu this time of year, but by practicing good hygiene and being careful to avoid cold germs, you may escape cold and flu season unscathed.”
Anderson offers the following top five tips to safe guarding yourself against the dreaded colds and flus:
Get a Flu Vaccine – Getting a seasonal flu vaccine is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against the flu viruses going around each year. Head to your doctor early on in flu season (as soon as the vaccine is available) and get yourself vaccinated. While the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, if you are a healthy person generally, the flu vaccine can lessen the severity and duration of your symptoms.
Take Probiotics – Probiotics are “good” bacteria that can help keep the body healthy and protect it from “bad” bacteria and there’s even some thought that taking probiotics may help to prevent cold and flu viruses. Regular use of probiotics keep people healthier and reduces the incidence of upper respiratory infections (like the common cold). Rather consider eating foods that contain probiotics, such as yoghurt than taking probiotic supplements to prevent flu.
Feed your body with water and healthy foods – General good health practices keep your body strong and ready to fend off cold germs and the flu virus. This includes drinking plenty of water. Staying hydrated may boost a particular immune response to enable your body to better fight the viruses. Shoot for six to eight glasses of water per day, more if the weather is hot. A healthy diet can strengthen your immune system and help you prevent flu and cold viruses from attacking. Fruits, vegetables, low-fat proteins, and complex carbohydrates are the keys to good nutrition that will stoke your immune system.
Incorporate enough exercise and rest into your day – Exercise not only makes you feel great and helps you stay fit, but it also boosts your immune system and can help prevent cold and flu viruses from making you sick. Additionally, warding off extra weight is important for overall health, particularly when it comes to preventing colds and flu. Getting enough shut-eye each night offers bigger benefits than staying awake during a long afternoon at the office. Getting enough sleep is essential for healthy immune function, and that insufficient sleep or poor sleep quality is associated with lowered immune function.
Be germ conscious – Ensure you wash your hands regularly. This will help to get rid of cold germs you pick up from doorknobs and stair rails, and keep you from getting them into your body. We understand that sometimes you can’t always get to a sink when you need to wash germs off of your hands. So keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer handy is a good idea to help disinfect hands and prevent flu and cold viruses. In addition, to prevent cold and flu viruses, don’t touch “your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands. This is how germs get inside your body and grow into an upper respiratory infection.
“By practising the above mentioned tips you can reduce and possibly completely skip the cold and flu season emerging on the other end with very little battle wounds. Avoiding germs and ensuring your immune system is strong and functioning are vital during season changes,” concludes Anderson.