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10 Ways Avoid the Flu This Winter

Home > Everywhere > How To | Health and Fitness | Family
by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published April 5th 2013
For the last few days, the news on TV and the papers are doom and gloom. The concern is the severity of influenza and the possibility of its early arrival. Apparently, there are more than 700 cases of flu that have been reported for the month of January and February alone. A figure that is significantly higher than previous years.

Dr Alan Hampson of the Influenza Specialist Group said, that there are 2,500 Australians die from flu each year. Needless to say the negative financial impact to our economy, the cold and flu virus brings can be devastating. Companies lose millions of dollars in productivity and even the health care systems are greatly affected.

So what can we do to look after ourselves, our family, and contribute to the economic stability of our country?

Here are 10 suggestions for our health and well-being. It might not help everyone, but it would not hurt to try one or a few or even the whole lot.

1.Rug up.
Science says that apart from the fact that people who are exposed to the cold and flu virus, and those who do not rug up are more prone to contacting a cold. I know we all want to look sexy even when we are feeling cold but there are a lot of different styles of shawl and jackets that are cheap and look fabulous to keep us warm.

2. Boost your immune system with natural remedies such as garlic.
It contains a compound called Allicin which has a chemical that can build your immune system. it also contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that can kill bacteria and virus. You can either use the fresh garlic or garlic supplements.

3. Exercise
Working out regularly will not only enhance your immune function, but it will also help our mental state. You will feel a lot better about yourself, not to mention those clothes that you have been trying to fit for a while is within reach. It doesn't have to be rigorous, but if you can stick on a regular exercise on a daily basis, it would be beneficial.

4. Flu vaccine
Most company or work place encourages their staff to get a flu shot and provides an on site free flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is already available and it is important to get vaccinated early to avoid catching or passing the virus. Pregnant women, people over the age of 65 and anyone suffering from an underlying medical condition can be vaccinated for free.

Can you imagine working in an environment where people around you are constantly sick? Although we are entitled to our sick leave, most of us still turn up at work unless we are virtually in our death bed. Be mindful and check with your Doctor of any allergies you might have.

5. Did you know that Ginger fights respiratory problems?
If you are suffering from cold and cough, ginger tea can help and is highly recommended. It helps in loosening up phlegm, pacifies allergies, sneezing and irritation, and expands your lungs, Ginger is loaded with antioxidants and minerals and has been a natural remedy in other kind of ailments. We associate ginger in our cooking, but perhaps, we can also incorporate ginger tea with honey in our diet.

6. Don't smoke
If you feel that you're coming down with the cold or flu, stay away from cigarettes. Smoking can irritate your airways, therefore increases the chance of catching a cold and other infections. I know easy said than done, but think of the health benefit that you will reap, and not to mention the money that you will save. Passive smoking can also make you and your children susceptible to colds.

7. Don't cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands
This might be a contradiction of what we had been taught. Stemming from an early age, our parents, told us to cover our mouth when we sneeze or cough. Although in reality, when we cover our mouth, germs and viruses latched into our hands, therefore resulting in passing the germs to others. When you feel a cough or a sneeze coming on, use a tissue, and throw it away immediately.

8. Use paper towels
Germs can live for several hours on cloth towels. If a member of the family is suffering from a cold or flu, its best to use paper towels when you wash your hand in the kitchen and bathroom, and perhaps also provide specifically for the guest.

9. Drink plenty of water

We have always been advised by Doctors to drink plenty of water. Hydrating yourself can reduce your symptoms and may stave off infections. According to Dr. Jamey Wallace, chief medical officer at Bastyr Center for Natural Health in Seattle,

"Your mucous membranes and the immune cells in their secretions defend against cold viruses, and they can't work as well if you're dehydrated," Dr. Wallace says. His advice: Divide your weight by 3. That's how many ounces of fluid you need daily, plus a glass of water for each caffeinated or alcoholic drink.

10.Cut Alcohol Consumption
This might be a hard task to do, but consuming a lot of alcohol suppresses the immune system in a lot of ways. It dehydrates your body and depletes fluid into your system. Heavy drinkers are more prone to infection. There goes our social Friday night, you said. But I say, everything is in moderation.

I am a gym fan, an advocate of exercises. I can boast that I have not had a cold for a number of years and I dont remember the last time I suffered from influenza. I attributed my good health to regular exercises and good eating habits. Although I do indulge from time to time. I truly believe that if you look after your body, it will look after your mind, but by saying that, if the symptoms permit, consult your Doctor.
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Why? Prevent Cold and Flu
When: All the time
Where: Everywhere
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