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10 Tips to stay healthy and avoid colds & flu

Wash your hands

Common cold and flu viruses spread by direct contact. Avoid people with colds or the flu like the plague – viruses spread from their hands to door handles, the telephone or the keyboard and can live for hours on these surfaces. The next person touching the same object will pick up these bugs, so wash your hands often or use alcohol-based hand sanitisers to prevent these viruses passing into your body.

Use tissues and throw them away

These are great for preventing the spread of colds and flu, but remember that they can harbour viruses and contaminate any surface they come in contact with.

Drink plenty fluid

Avoid becoming dehydrated - a typical healthy adult needs around 1.5 litres of water each day. Drinking water flushes out your system and helps keep your immune system strong.

Control stress

It is well known that stress can weaken your immune system and may make you more likely to catch a cold than your calmer counterparts.

Eat well

A diet rich in fruit and vegetables can help you avoid many health problems. Foods rich in vitamins A and C such as citrus fruit, dark blue and red berries, mangoes, apricots, carrots and beetroot support the immune system.

Avoid alcohol

We know this seems boring, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol is bad for immune cells, which become disorientated and confused…just like us!

Get plenty fresh air

Avoid getting stuck in a room full of people with stale air. Find fresh air and breathe deeply. This helps the lymphatic system move protective immune cells around the body.

Get more sleep

Achieving restful sleep each night (8 hours) helps the body repair itself and build the immune system. If you need help sleeping, see our tips on how you can sleep better.

Avoid smoking

This is an irritant to the delicate tissues of your respiratory tract and increases your susceptibility to viruses that cause colds and flu.

Keep warm

When you are feeling a bit vulnerable to infection, stay out of the cold night air and avoid the direct stream of air-conditioned air.

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