05 December 2013

My Top Tips on Avoiding the Cold/Flu This Winter!

I've seen a lot of people on twitter asking about cold and flu remedies and ways to avoid it! some of you may know that I just graduated with a degree in  Human Biology and I knew a fair few things about the little nasties that cause the cold and flu. So I thought I'd share some of my ways to prevent getting it and also what to do when you do, just to please my inner biology geek. Short lesson on what the cold and flu are, they are either bacterial (less common) or viral (pretty much all of them), this is why the doctor won't give you antibiotics because chances are its viral not bacterial. Your own levels of immunity also affect how long it will take for you to get over a cold etc. As with most things prevention is better than cure but there is unfortunately no sure fire way of stopping you getting the cold!

From weheartit
Vitamins and Minerals
Yupp these are always important but especially at this time of year boost any vitamins you may be lacking in, such as Vitamin C since we get very little sunshine and Iron as well! This can help boost your immune system and also limit the length of time it takes for  you to recover from the cold or flu.

From weheartit
 The Flu Jab
If you fall into the category of getting a flu jab then GET IT! It's there for a reason, the flu jab changes every year dependant on what flu virus is most common. It is there to protect those with slightly compromised immunity, so you will be glad you got it and convince your family members that can to get it too!

Stress Levels and Sleep
Christmas, its the most stressful time of the year for many people and stress lowers our levels of immunity, making us far more vulnerable to getting nasty colds and flus. Obviously if your completely stressed out for a number of reasons, take time at the end of your day to destress. Also make sure you are getting plenty of sleep at night! I like to use lavendar to unwind and Badgers Sleep balm helps me drift right off to sleep!

Stay Hydrated
We all know about the benefits of drinking enough water a day can bring us for our skin and general health so I wont harp on about it!

Yeah that alcohol gel you have in your bag is great on the go and it gets rid of all the nasties that cause cold and flus, WRONG! Those alcohol gels only get rid of some bacteria, some can only be tested on as little as 1 type of bacteria (there are millions) and proven to be 99% effective they also don't kill or remove viruses from the hands (which pretty much all common colds and flus are). So yes use them but as soon a you get home or near a sink wash your hands to completely get rid of anything, and yeah that carex soap that kills all bacteria is no more effective than a bog standard bar of soap! Also keep those fingers out of your mouth, nail biters (me) I'm looking at you!

From weheartit
What to do when you do get a cold

Take Medicines
As already discussed the doctor probably wont give you anything except some paracetomal! Paracetomal is great for lowering temperatures etc but not so much for the banging sore head you have. So get yourself some cold and flu tablets there are loads and SOME don't contain paracetomal meaning you an take them and paracetomal at the same time, but always always read the labels! Strepsils also work wonders on sore throats and at killing your tastebuds too!

Olbas Oil
That headache you get when you have the cold, you know that tight horrible pounding feeling!? That is caused by our sinuses being blocked so to get rid of the headache they need unblocked. That is when we call in the distinctive odour that can only be olbas oil or vaborub!

As above staying hydrated is even more important if you actually have an infection as is washing your hands. This stops you spreading it to anyone else in your house like little ones or elderly relatives! In case you didn't notice I could probably go on about handwashing all day. In fact I wrote my dissertation on it so if you want to read the whole 12,000 words that could be arranged I won't bore you! Also taking vitamin C and echinacea once you have the cold can decrease the length of it!

So that is that my tips for avoiding the cold and flu this winter, I hope you found it useful and I didn't bore you all too much, every day is a school day eh!

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  1. Great post! I was really ill at the start of term this year as I picked up all the colds and flu that were going about so I decided to pay for a flu jab and *touch wood* I haven't been ill since! x

    Hannah @ Cutes and Fruits

    1. I know! it really is so worthwile getting it if you can just an extra protection really especially if you are prone to getting unwell! x

  2. Very helpful post for this time of year. Thanks for the tips. x


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