Colds and flu are more common in the cooler months. But getting sick isn’t inevitable, in fact by practising good hygiene and taking steps to boost your immune system, can help you to stay well over winter.
Wash Your Hands.
This is the first and most important action you can take to avoid winter germs. Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitiser when you’ve touched something communal including door handles, handrails on public transport, shopping trolleys or baskets.
Clean Surfaces Regularly. Clean surfaces such as your computer keyboard, tablet, telephone handset, mobile phone and door handles on a regular basis to remove germs.
Get enough sleep. Poor sleep can reduce your immunity, making it more likely that you’ll get sick. Aim for 7-8 hours of shut-eye most nights.
Stay active. While it may be tempting to curl up in front of the heater or fire and binging the latest Netflix show, regular moderate intensity exercise can help to boost your immune system, reduce your chances of getting a cold and improve your recovery time if you do get sick.
Eat well. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is important for general health and wellbeing but there are a few nutrients that are particularly good at giving our immune system a boost.
Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits, kiwifruit, berries, capsicum, tomato, broccoli and spinach), zinc (found in fish, seafood, lean meat & poultry, legumes, whole-grains, nuts & seeds, and dairy foods like milk, yoghurt & cheese) and vitamin A (found in yellow-orange and dark green vegetables such as carrot, pumpkin, sweet potato and spinach). Include these foods regularly in your winter meals.
Get vaccinated: Influenza is a serious illness that can take people out for as many as three weeks to a month and in extreme cases, can cause death. The flu is not just a runny nose or headache. It can include body chills, fever, vomiting and diarrhoea, sore throat, painful muscle aches, night sweats, swollen glands and sinuses, extreme fatigue and incessant coughing.
Prevention is better than the cure. It’s recommended that everyone over 6 months old gets an annual flu vaccine. Flu vaccines are free for people who meet certain criteria.
The 2023 flu vaccine is free for:
children aged 6 months to 12 years old
people aged 65 and over
Māori and Pacific people over 55
people with underlying health conditions including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and serious asthma
people with significant mental illness such as schizophrenia or those currently accessing mental health services.
Find out more here: https://www.immune.org.nz/vaccine/influenza-vaccine
Supplements: Serving up five to nine vegetables a day is ideal, however sometimes it’s just not possible or it may not be enough to give you the boost you need. Supplements containing the essential nutrients in convenient powders and capsules may be required to give you immune system a boost over the sluggish winter months.
We stock a range of supplements for general wellbeing and immunity, if you are not sure which supplements are right for you, chat to one of our team today.