Some areas of the UK have been experiencing unprecedented high temperatures over the last couple of weeks. However, this doesn’t mean cold season isn’t creeping up on us, and before we know it, we’ll spend the next few months sniffling into a tissue and fighting off a headache.
While we all dread having a common cold, they can be extremely hard to avoid. You can do your best to wash your hands regularly, but unless your body is strong enough to fight off any nearby bugs, you are unlikely to get through winter unscathed by a cold or flu.
That is why it is important to boost your immune system before the cold weather really sets in, so you can increase your chances of being virus-free during winter.
- Vitamin C
It goes without saying a healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to ensure you have enough nutrients to fight off bacteria.
Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables will increase your vitamin and mineral intake for sure; however, to really guarantee you are getting an adequate dose, you should consider taking supplements, particularly high-strength vitamin C tablets.
These will improve your immune system, so you are strong enough to resist the majority of viruses you encounter. It is also a good antioxidant that will help improve your overall health, so you can stay fit and well during the colder months.
- Immune-enhancing foods
To compliment your vitamin C tablets, it is a good idea to fill your diet with immune-boosting foods. These include fruit and veg that are rich in vitamin C, such as broccoli, kiwi, citrus fruits, red bell peppers, and papaya, according to Mercola.
The website also recommended mushrooms and organic vegetables; green tea; chicken soup; coconuts and coconut oil; garlic, turmeric, oregano, cinnamon and cloves; raw, grass-fed, organic milk and eggs; and even fermented foods like raw kefi, pickles, sauerkraut, miso and kimchi.
While it may sound simple, drinking enough water is also incredibly important in helping to ward off a cold.
- Rest and exercise
Although it sounds contradictory, it is important to make sure you get enough rest as well as stay physically active during the winter.
If you are starting to feel ill, one of the most effective ways to treat your cold is to rest. This means trying to get eight hours’ sleep a night and relaxing when you can.
However, people should continue exercising when the weather gets colder if they feel well enough. Live Life Get Active explains that getting outside is important for exposure to sunlight; physical exertion raises your body temperature naturally, which has a soothing effect on the body; regular exercise strengthens immune systems by speeding up the rate immune cells circulate through the body; breathing in outside air is good for lungs; exercise helps to avoid winter weight gain and a feeling of sluggishness; and it has a positive impact on helping to beat seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The NHS revealed it was put to the test last winter, seeing seven million patients within four hours from the beginning of December to the end of March. This was an increase of 380,000 from 2017, suggesting more people were prone to illness or injury last year. Therefore, it is important Brits do as much as they can to fend off the bugs, not only for their own sake but to relieve pressure on NHS services.