Colds, Coughs & the Flu

Can you believe the weather we’re having? We can’t! We’re all wrapped up in warm clothing and fighting over who gets to sit closest to the heater. But if you want to prevent coughs, colds and the flu which are common during winter, fighting over the heater is not the solution. With more of us spending time indoors, it’s easier for germs to spread. Keep in mind the following tips to prevent the spread of illness.

Get a flu shot. Flu shots are especially beneficial for those with weakened immune systems, the elderly or those who come in contact with a lot of people. Check with your doctor for more information.

Avoid putting your hands near your eyes, nose or mouth, unless you have washed. Most bacteria and germs are spread from a surface to your hands and to your face.

Wash your hands frequently. This is often your best defence. Wash the entire hand using warm water and soap. Don’t forget to clean under fingernails. Wash for about 10 seconds.

Get enough sleep. During sleep, your body’s immune system goes into high gear to protect you from illness. Lack of sleep can reduce immune functioning making you susceptible to sickness.

Drink more water. In cold weather, it is easy to forget your thirst and get dehydrated. Make sure you consume 8 glasses a day.

Continue a moderate exercise program. Try to maintain a 3-day a week exercise routine. Consistency is the key.

Eat healthily. If you’re counting calories, count them properly, do not starve yourself. If your ideal weight is 65kg, then consume a minimum of 1600 calories a day. (multiply your body weight by 25 and that should give you a range).

Limit alcohol intake. Alcohol can be dehydrating which, in turn, may decrease your resistance to bacteria.

Finally, listen to your body. If you are less than 100% you will feel better and recover faster if you let yourself rest.