Health Advice

Worried about getting sick this winter? Pharmacist Philip Crilly suggests six ways to 'Fight the Flu'.

Six Ways to beat cold and flu this winter

Philip Crilly - Pharmacist

The days are shorter and darker, the weather is wet and cold and many of us will be susceptible to the cold and flu. So what can we do to beat the flu this winter?

Health tip, how to beat the common flu1. Vitamins and minerals

Vitamin C and zinc have been proven to help your body strengthen its defence mechanisms to fight off the bacteria and viruses that can cause colds and the flu.
If you have a well balanced diet full of fresh fruit and vegetables you will really support your body to fight off illness. If, however, you find that getting your five a day isn't possible why not try vitamin supplements. These are available as tablets, effervescent tablets or liquids.

2. Get the flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is particularly important for certain more vulnerable groups. People who should get the flu vaccine include the elderly, those people with a pre-existing illness and pregnant women. There is a myth that the flu vaccine can cause the flu. This isn't possible so don't let it put you off. You'll be thankful you had the vaccine when you keep well through the winter months.

3. Cover your mouth and nose

If you do develop a cough or a sniffle, think of those around you. Use a clean disposable tissue and throw this away immediately after using. A simple act of covering your cough or sneeze can prevent the cold being spread to those close to you.

4. Wash your hands thoroughly

After sneezing or coughing it's important to wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water to ensure you get rid of all the germs that may have deposited. Carry alcohol wipes or gels to use when it isn't possible to wash your hands properly. Also, wash your hands after shaking hands with strangers, as you cannot be sure what germs they may have.

5. Quit smoking

Smoking changes the lining of the airways so smokers are more susceptible to developing a cold or flu. It can also weaken the defence mechanisms your body uses to fight off infection making you more susceptible to ill health.

6. Get a good night sleep

Rest is essential as it allows your body to develop a strong defence system. Getting eight hours sleep a night will keep your body fighting fit and ready to protect you from illness.


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