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10 ways to try and swerve the flu this autumn

10 ways to try and swerve the flu this autumn

Influenza, a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses, can wreak havoc on communities, especially during the fall season. Its transmission through coughs or sneezes, along with its ability to survive on surfaces, underscores the critical importance of proactive measures to curb its spread. Vaccinations are pivotal, reducing the risk of illness by up to 60% among the population when flu viruses are well-matched with the vaccine.

To avoid the classic flu symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches and tiredness take a look at these 10 proactive steps to evade the flu.

1. Eat well

The cold weather can make us want to comfort eat, especially processed junk food. Try to avoid fatty, unhealthy food and opt for lots of fruit and veg (at least 5 pieces a day) packed with healthy vitamins to give your body a well-deserved boost.

2. Exercise

Exercise helps to make your white blood cells (the ones which fight infections) travel through your body faster and do their jobs better, so make sure you’re doing at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week to keep your body in the best condition.

3. Don’t bite your nails

Your nails are a breeding ground for germs, so the more you nibble, the more chance you have of developing infections or the flu.

4. Handwashing

Wash your hands frequently, especially after eating and using the toilet. A good clean for about 15 seconds with soap and warm water is the best. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Carrying a little bottle of hand sanitiser to use regularly, to keep germs at bay, especially when travelling on public transport and working at a desk (keyboards are riddled with germs!) Hand washing also helps protect against other germs and illnesses that there aren’t vaccines for, like the common cold.

5. Stop stressing

Stress has a huge impact on your body and can play its role in making you more susceptible to getting ill.

6. Get 8 hours of sleep

Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to illness.

7. Cut down on your booze

The more you drink the weaker your immune system is and that is when flu and colds will attack. So, cut down on your booze intake and take plenty of fluids such as plain water to rush out the toxins.

8. Get your flu vaccination

If you’re offered the flu jab (mainly over 50s and those with chronic illnesses), then make sure you get it. It’ll give you a stronger chance of fighting off the flu.

9. Take your vitamins

It’s vital to get your RDA (recommended daily allowance) for vitamin E and other antioxidants including A, C and B-complex vitamins and minerals as they have properties that will enhance your immune response.

10. Don’t smoke

Smoke paralyses the cilia, the hair-like cells lining the nose and airways that sweep incoming viruses away before they can infect.

Navigating the flu season requires a varied approach that hinges on early vaccination, maintaining healthy habits and nurturing a strong immune system. Before taking a flu shot, you should always speak to your doctor or another qualified healthcare provider.

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