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10 ways to try and swerve the flu this autumn

10 ways to try and swerve the flu this autumn

Stefano Mirabello NowPatientGreen tick
Medically reviewed by Stefano Mirabello, BPharm and written by Rajive Patel, BPharm - Updated on 10 Nov 2023
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Table of contents
Overview1. Eat well2. Exercise3. Don’t bite your nails4. Wash your hands5. Stop stressing6. Get 8 hours of sleep7. Cut down on your booze8. Get your flu jab9. Take your vitamins10. Don’t smokeSources

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 30mins of exercise three times a week to keep your body in the best condition.

3. Don’t bite your nails

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

4. Wash your hands

Wash your hands frequently, especially after eating and using the toilet. A good clean for about 15 seconds with soap and water is the best. I’d recommend 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!)

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.

8. Get your flu jab

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.


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