Very few of us look forward to the winter months. They usually mean less time outdoors, less sunshine, and an increase in those irritating and unpleasant viruses and bugs. If you feel like you’re forever fighting off a looming infection and just can’t spare any more sick days, it’s time to break out some tried and tested preventative tricks. Follow these tips and you’re sure to get through this cold season flu-free.

  1. Get jabbed.
    Nobody likes injections, it’s true, but they can be extremely handy when you’re trying to prevent unwanted illnesses from infecting your body and stealing weeks (or years) from your life. Getting a flu vaccination before winter rolls round can be an effective way to immunise yourself against some of the more common strains of influenza that tend to circulate around this time of year. Once you’re vaccinated, you’ll be able to float through winter without risk of coming down with a nasty bug.
  2. Clean up.
    One of the simplest but most foolproof ways of fighting off viruses is to keep yourself and your surroundings as clean as possible. Bacteria usually gains access to your body through your hands, which touch plenty of different surfaces throughout the course of a day. Stop the bacteria in its tracks by washing your hands frequently using an antibacterial soap. Hand sanitizer can also be useful if you don’t have constant access to a sink. Keep your surroundings and your hands clean to stop germs from making you unwell.
  3. Relax.
    Aside from being a generally unpleasant emotion, stress and tension can make us more susceptible to viruses and poor health. Lack of sleep can also play an important role in the functioning of your immune system, so make sure you’re chilled out and getting plenty of rest to keep your body at its strongest.
  4. Restore your gut.
    Gut health is extremely important, and the good bacteria in your gut can easily be damaged over time by certain medications and poor diet and lifestyle choices. Having a healthy gut will help your body fight infection and ward off illness, so aim to eat at least one serving of yoghurt with live cultures every day.
  5. Get plenty of exercise.
    There are many good reasons to hit the gym on a regular basis, but if you’re still not convinced, take your immune system into account. Frequent exercise boost your immune system and lowers your chances of catching colds and flu, so there’s really no excuse to give the gym a miss this week.
  6. Load up on Vitamin C.
    Vitamin C is famously great for your overall health, particularly when it comes to defending your health during the winter months. If you don’t want to take a multi-vitamin or Vitamin C supplement, consider upping your intake of foods that naturally contain plenty of it. Fresh fruits and vegetables are your best bet, so aim to make your plate more colourful than usual.
  7. Decrease your sugar intake.
    We all love the sweet stuff, but it doesn’t love us back. Refined sugar increases inflammation in your body and weakens the immune system, so trade the chocolate bar for an orange and let your body thank you this winter.