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Six tips to help you prevent getting the flu this winter

Wrapped up in scarfs and hats, taking cautious steps forward to avoid slipping over on the slippery ice, which once upon a time was the pretty stuff we called snow, and drinking countless cups of t

Wrapped up in scarfs and hats, taking cautious steps forward to avoid slipping over on the slippery ice, which once upon a time was the pretty stuff we called snow, and drinking countless cups of tea, it can only all mean one thing.

It’s winter.

It has not been long since big freeze blew over the UK, which left many of us breathing a sigh of relief, only it still remains very cold outside with bitterly low temperatures and freezing winds, exposing many of us to our dreaded nemesis (aaatchoo!), the FLU!

While we try our best to avoid this awful experience, sitting next to 20 boxes of tissues with noses looking like they’ve been rubbed constantly with sandpaper, while also making hilarious facial expressions as we sip the sour tasting Lemsip, it seems that this battle never seems to last. So just how can we prevent it from happening next time?

Well, although there is no quick cure for colds yet, here are 6 tips which can prevent you from catching it!

1. Wash your hands

This has to be one of the most effective, easiest methods of flu prevention.
Despite the bitterly cold temperatures, many of us still like to venture out to the shops, meet friends or go to the gym to keep the blood flow from freezing into icicles!

It’s during these activities when you may unfortunately step past someone who sneezes, to our anger, at the most unfortunate moment, or when you might shake a friends hand, or step onto public transport totally unaware of your natural reaction to hold the long vertical handlebar that’s been gripped by hundreds of possible flu swamped members of the public, therefore leaving us with the dammed days ahead of painstaking snuffles.

So make sure before you go out, and when you get back home, to always wash your hands. You can never be too careful.

2. Stay hydrated – drink water

It’s cold outside, we are struggling to keep warm even in the silly number of clothing layers we are wearing, so why would we ever even consider drinking cold water?!

Well here is a reason: drinking six to eight glasses of water a day can boost your immune system, which will keep your body strong, all ready to fight off the oncoming illnesses all year round.

So, although we may not necessarily fancy drinking cold water at this time of year, it’s important to bear in mind that doing so will not only do us good for the short term, but the long term also. On that note, I think I’ll go and grab a glass now!

3. Eat your fruit and veg

Eating a wide variety of fresh, wholesome foods has been proven as a vital step to ensuring a strong immune system, which will strengthen your body in fighting the endless runny noses. If you are not already on this rainbow diet of vegetables and fruits, now would be a good time to start, as it is packed with vitamin A’s and C’s, which in laymen’s term means the healthy stuff! Food such as citrus fruit, dark blue and red berries, mangoes, apricots, carrots, beetroot, green peppers and greens are all part of this healthy diet.

4. Avoid sugar

Experts say that keeping sugar consumption to a minimal is a good way to avoid colds, as sugar often weakens your immune system, making it harder to fight infections. So as much as you may enjoy your fizzy drinks and fatty foods, this is something you should skip if you want to stay ill free.

5. Exercise regularly

It is said that 30 minutes of moderate exercise, such as walking and jogging, can help boost your metabolism and your body’s ability to fight disease. This is also a great way of killing two birds with one stone, because while it may be bitterly cold outside, a good 30-minute jog will certainly warm you up, which would even lead you to bending the two birds rule, by killing THREE birds with one stone as you will be needing plenty of tip number two, water!

6. Don’t stress, think positively

The impact your mental state has on your body’s immune system is larger than many people realise. When you are stressed, or are in states of depression, it directly affects the hormones which are released into our bodies, and it is these chemicals which then reflects your mood and directly depresses the immune system, therefore weakening it. The lesson here is if you want to steer away from catching the common cold, it might be a good idea to start being more positive if you aren’t doing so yet!

So there you go, as it says on the tin (or in this case the headline)–six tips which can prevent you from experiencing the flu!

If you already have the cold, then firstly I apologise for not telling you all this earlier – all you can do for now is let nature take its course as there is no sure-fire way to cure a cold. Anyway, look on the bright side, you now have the chance to catch up on all TV programmes you’ve missed!

What are your tips this flu season? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.