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Tips for Beating the Winter Cold and Flu Season

29 September 2020

 

The cold weather is approaching - and with it, the dreaded cold and flu season looms. So how can you keep these health conditions at bay? B&M will show you how to reduce the risk of catching influenza and the common cold by advising you to:

  • Get plenty of sleep
  • Exercise regularly
  • Keep your hands clean
  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Stock up on vitamins

During the cold and flu season, the common cold and similar conditions are more widespread than usual. Symptoms of a cold include a runny nose, sore throats, coughing, sneezing and a high temperature.

The flu virus can feel similar, but often involves a higher temperature, severe aches, extreme fatigue and even sickness or stomach problems.

Of course, no one wants to catch a cold or flu - so here’s how to beat the flu season by preventing infection and boosting your immune function:

Get plenty of sleep

“Integrin” is a protein molecule that helps immune cells to “stick” to infected cells in the body and eradicate illness. Without enough sleep, the integrin doesn’t work properly and the risk of catching a serious infection increases.

Work out what time you’d need to go to bed in order to achieve 8 hours of sleep, then try to stick to that time. As the routine kicks in, your body will get used to feeling tired at the right time.

Hang some blackout curtains and use a sleeping mask and earplugs to combat anything that may wake you up or keep you from sleeping soundly.

B&M Top Tip: Meditation, lavender scents, a cosy hot water bottle and snuggly bedding will have you out like a light!

Exercise Regularly

Exercise increases your blood flow, helping immune cells circulate the body quickly to zap infections.

Try to get out in the fresh air for a good run at least a couple of times a week, start doing exercise videos in your front room or find any other way to get moving. It’s worth it!

B&M Top Tip: check out what's new in our Fitness section! You'll find everything from sporty clothing and protein bars, to smoothie makers and water bottles.

Keep Your Hands Clean

Now more than ever, it’s important to practice good hand hygiene! Wash your hands before and after handling food and after going to the toilet, sneezing or coughing into them, treating a wound or doing anything else that might spread infections.

Choose your favourite soap or hand sanitiser - whether you prefer something that’s kind on the hands or has a lovely scent - and use it with warm-to-hot water.

Eat Nutritious Foods

Choosing the right food and drink is a great way to stay healthy. Drink lots of water so that oxygen is carried quickly around your cells and toxins are easily flushed out.

Try green tea - it contains natural antioxidants that fight infection.

We also love chicken soup - it contains vitamins A and C as well as magnesium and phosphorus to boost the immune system, and it does a great job of guarding against cold weather.

Don’t forget to pile on the fruit and veggies!

B&M Top Tip: Vitamin C is also great for your skin!

Stock Up On Vitamins

It can be hard to get the right vitamins with food alone. That’s where supplements come in.

Choose pills or effervescent tablets to get the right dose of vitamins B, C, D and E as well as iron, folic acid, zinc and selenium for a total immuno-overhaul.

The cold and flu season will be no match for well-rested, fit, clean, well-fed you!

Check out our Health & Wellbeing section for plenty more ways to prevent and treat cold and flu.

How do you keep your family safe and healthy? Share your ideas with the B&M Community via Twitter, Facebook or Instagram!

*The above information should not be used in place of professional medical advice. If you experience any of the symptoms described in this article, please consult your local pharmacist or GP.


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