Lifestyle

How to Prevent the Flu – Tips to Protect Yourself

From washing your hands regularly to booking your flu jab, there are plenty of top tips you can follow to protect yourself from catching a cold or the flu. And in the world we live in today, this is more important than ever.

Irrespective of how healthy you are as an individual, anyone can be a victim of the flu. This and colds become rifer as the winter months close in. From jumping on the bus to working in an office, the nature of our lives today can make us more susceptible to germs, or at least coming into contact with them.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to keep flu and colds at bay – including washing our hands.

First things first though, like a cold and the flu are not the same thing – despite what many may think. For example, a cold is certainly the milder of the two ailments.

Cold symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to include coughing, a runny, blocked nose, sneezing, a sore throat, headaches, and earaches. In certain cases, a bad cold can cause a mild fever.

Flu symptoms

Flu can be much more lethal than a cold, especially if you’re classed as a vulnerable individual. Flu symptoms commonly include a heightened temperature of 38°C or above, sweating, sore or achy muscles, faintness, a dry and chesty cough, exhaustion, and a sudden fever.

To prevent both the flu and the common cold, it is extremely important to look after ourselves. One way to do this is by supporting our immune systems.

Ways to keep yourself well

  • Eat healthy food and snacks: Putting the right things in your body will help you to ensure your body is receiving the correct nutrients and vitamins. Try to consume foods rich in vitamin C, as this important antioxidant helps us to stay strong and healthy. One way to ensure a healthy intake of vitamin C includes eating lots of oranges or drinking orange juice. Other food types brimming with this vitamin include red and green peppers, kiwis, and strawberries.
  • Vitamin E: This is another top vitamin that promises to boost our immune systems. It can be found in sunflower seeds, spinach, nuts, avocados, and fish.
  • Zinc: Our bodies require a trace element of zinc in order to produce new enzymes, which in turn heighten our immune health. Zinc can be found in cashew nuts, meat, spinach, and dairy food.

If you do succumb to a cold or flu, a natural remedy involves sipping honey and hot water. This helps to soothe a cough and sore throat. Despite being a home remedy, it’s also endorsed by medical professionals.

Research suggests that honey is as effective as cough medication in treating patients, especially those who suffer from coughing at night. It is important to keep in mind, that despite its benefits, it also raises blood sugar levels.

Exercise to strengthen your immune system

Exercise is proven to boost and heighten our circulation. It also increases blood flow, which can strengthen our immune and heart systems, boosting the ability to fight infections. There are plenty of exercises to choose from and not all have to involve a trip to the gym.

From yoga to running or volleyball, there are an array of fitness trends to choose from, which should help to keep you motivated.

Wash your hands to fight germs

A tried and tested method that is not to be ignored involves washing your hands, especially if you want to avoid the cold and flu. Soap and water is the most effective way to rid our hands of germs. If you’re out and about, take a sanitizer with you and apply it to your hands after touching any surface.

Clean your mobile phone

It might not be the first thing you think of to clean, but your mobile phone could be up to ten times dirtier than a toilet seat! Phones collect germs which then transfer to our faces and anyone else using the device.

These germs can survive for an impressive 24 hours. With this in mind, it’s important to wipe our phones down using a bacterial wipe on a regular basis.

Make time for sleep and relaxation

Sleep plays an important part in our lives and is a must if we want to stay healthy. Too little sleep can cause our immune systems to dwindle. When we’re run-down, colds and flu are harder to shake off. Try to get to bed early and ensure your sleep is uninterrupted to keep your health at its peak.

Get the flu jab

If you are pregnant, aged 65 or over, or have a medical condition such as a chest compliant, a heart complaint, or diabetes, you can request a flu jab through your GP. In addition, many workplaces offer this. Nasal sprays are also available to children aged between two and four years of age through your GP.

Should you know someone that has come down with flu, sending them some fresh blooms could help to cheer them up a little bit. Serenata Flowers has a range of letterbox flowers and bright bouquets that may be just what you need.

Lily Calyx

Lily Calyx is our in-house flower whisperer, an expert on all things botanical and an enthusiastic orchids collector. She loves discussing the insights of the secret world of flowers, shares her gardening tips and hacks and moons over the latest additions to Serenata Flowers flower range. Ask Lily anything about flowers and we can guarantee she will have the answer.

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