6 ways to avoid getting seasonal flu

1. Stock up on mood-boosting foods

Increasing your consumption of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables is the best defense against winter infections. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, mango, pineapple, cabbage, cauliflower and bell peppers.

To reduce symptoms if you have a cold or flu, try an increased daily dose of kiwifruit.

A recent study on healthy eating, which was published in the British Journal, found that adding kiwi to your diet can lead to fewer complaints of symptoms of winter illnesses such as colds , especially in older people.

2. Get moving

Getting out of bed for a workout outside is probably the last thing on your mind when it’s dark outside. You probably want to curl up under the duvet, but exercise is hugely beneficial during the winter months.

In addition to improving mood and tone, exercise helps white blood cells reach all parts of the body and to each individual organ through the blood stream, thus the body successfully fights disease-causing microorganisms .

A 2010 US study of 1,000 participants shows that staying active can almost halve the chance of contracting a virus. And even when a person does get sick, their symptoms are far milder and the severity of the illness is reduced by about 41 percent.

3. Maintain good hygiene

Wash your hands regularly. This is the most effective way to kill the flu virus. The US Department of Health and Aging recommends washing hands after using the restroom; after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose; after they have been in contact with someone who has a cold or flu, and also before preparing and eating food.

To make sure you get the germs right, wet your hands and lather the soap for at least 20 seconds, then rinse well under running water.

At home, avoid sharing personal items such as towels, bedding, and toothbrushes, especially if a member of your household already has the flu. Also, avoid sharing utensils, food and drink and clean surfaces with soap and water or other detergent.

4. Sleep well

This is not a recommendation for elderly wives, but for all people. If you don’t sleep well, there is a big risk of getting sick. Lack of sleep can have a serious negative effect on your immune system, making you more vulnerable to colds, flu and other illnesses.

A 2009 study in the US found that sleeping less than seven hours a night can triple your risk of catching a cold compared to people who sleep for eight hours or more.

Tips for promoting restful sleep include turning off the TV or computer at least half an hour before bed, having a routine of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, and dimming the lights an hour before bed to stimulate the release of melatonin in the brain.

5. Find time to rest

If you’ve been unlucky enough to catch the flu, don’t try to fight it off. Find time to rest, relax, drink fluids and vitamins and don’t overwork yourself.

Exercising during the flu will prolong the course of the disease. Not to mention that it is not advisable to go out because you will infect other people.

6. The flu vaccine

Flu vaccines are readily available and reasonably priced. For people over 65 and children who study in large groups, the vaccine is especially recommended.

It is recommended to immunize pregnant women because the flu can harm the fetus and the chronically ill because they are at greater risk.

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