It’s that time of year again where I find myself on red alert for the signs of an impending cold in the Hobbis household. This involves much brandishing of tissues and shouting “wash your hands with hot water”.
The medication cupboard (yes we have a whole cupboard) is restocked with Vicks Vapour Rub and Olbas Oil and I threaten everybody with my chicken soup (with a bit of help from Heinz obviously).
So if like me, you want to make sure that the dreaded colds and flu don’t visit this winter, leading media medic, Dr Dawn Harper, in conjunction with ColdZyme which fights the cause of the common cold, has compiled a few tips that are definitely good for our health.
• Wash your hands regularly – contrary to popular belief, most coughs and colds are spread by hand contact, not by coughs and sneezes, so simply keeping your hands clean will go a long way to protecting yourself.
• Wash down surfaces and door handles – the viruses that cause colds can survive for several hours outside the human body.
• Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables to keep your immune system in good shape. Vitamin C and zinc are vital for a healthy immune system. Zinc is found in red meat, beans and fortified cereals, whilst foods rich in vitamin C include fruits such as oranges and strawberries and vegetables such as peppers, kale and broccoli.
• Make sure you get into a good sleep routine. When we sleep our immune system repairs itself, so chronic sleep deprivation can make you prone to infections.
• Manage your stress levels. Try to prioritise and delegate where possible as stress can play havoc with your immune system.
• Consider using anti-viral tissues and keep them in your bag or on your desk if those around you have a cold to minimise the spread of the virus and make sure that tissues are put straight in the bin.
• Use ColdZyme, a revolutionary mouth spray which targets the cause of the common cold and is clinically documented to help reduce the duration of a cold.
I also asked some of my lovely blogger friends for their top tips for preventing or dealing with a cold and this is what they said.
“If a cold strikes I make sure to keep warm, use medication at regular intervals and take night nurse to help me get a refreshing nights sleep when I need it most.” – Katy Stevens, Katykicker.com
“Pure orange juice in this house! That and Vicks on the feet with socks to bed to sweat the cold out!” – Amy Green, The Smallest Of Things.
“A hot cup of honey, lemon and fresh ginger a day throughout the colder months really helps keep colds at bay for me. If you have the time, steeping lemon chunks and fresh ginger in a pot of honey for a few weeks makes an effective concoction!” – Sophia Ford, Tattooed Tealady
“Wash your hands! All the time. Touching things and then touching your face, eyes, nose, mouth, is the fastest way to get a cold. Wash wash wash. And carry hand sanitiser.” – Naomi Perilli, Tattooed Mummy
“I’ll have honey and lemon with an actual tea bag (no milk!)! It gives you a bit of energy as the tea has a slow caffeine release to help you power through when you have things to do! Also hot steamy showers or if I’m feeling up to it, a microwavable curry. The steam or spice clears your nose and helps you blow it if its especially stuffed!
Also, avoid dairy as much as possible, it sticks in your pipes and increases phlegm!” – Abigail Glover, Mermaid Mischief
“Hot toddies – I’ve had them for colds since being a child. Hot water, honey, sugar, a slice of lemon then a couple of shots of whiskey (obviously I didn’t have that as a child). Drink it as hot as you can.” -Chermaine Susan Samphire, Chammy In Real Life – the real-life ramblings of me.
What are your top tips for avoiding colds and flu?