As we head into the season of chills and runny noses, the good news is that for those living in London suffering from congestion charges in the form of Lem-sip and Paracetamol, it is not only necessary to find the best GP in London to avoid the icy grip of the cold fairy. While private flu vaccinations will help to reduce the risk of too many doses of this particularly pernicious bug, this winter there are also a number of practical steps to take that will cut the chances of getting caught out with a seasonal snuffle or two.
Four Steps to Cold Free Winters
Basic hygiene principles will significantly reduce the chances of catching somebody else’s cold this winter. A dash of warm soapy water, rubbed vigorously on your hands at regular intervals, will help to reduce picking up bugs. For those who travel on the underground or public transport in general, regular hand washing helps to avoid feeling the effects of other people’s hand-me-down bugs. Get kids into a good hand washing habits early in life and also remind older vulnerable friends and relatives that this will help to reduce picking up bugs.
Although those cold winter mornings and endless Christmas parties will demand hot coffees and chilled nightcaps avoiding tea, coffee and alcohol will help to reduce the risk of catching a cold. All of the above are dehydrating – alcohol in particular – and low hydration levels will be appreciated by germs. The less hydrated your body, the harder your immune system will have to work. Drinking lots of hydrating fluids – water is one commonly available one – will help to boost your immune system and to battle viruses in general. If you do have your arm twisted into a wee dram top up with water or fruit juices as soon as possible to counteract the effects. Herbal teas are less likely to dehydrate you so try these as an alternative.
Winter is not, it has to be said, the most enjoyable time of year. When we feel emotionally low we can become more susceptible to physical illnesses as well. The lack of sun can radically affect the chemical serotonin which is an important mood regulator in the brain. It’s important to get out and about in the sunshine when possible – wrapped up warm of course. With the nights being long, and many of us starting and leaving work in the dark, try to ensure you get out during a break. An hour of sun a day may not keep the doctor away as well as an apple, but it certainly helps. Stress at work or home will also leave you feeling lack lustre – try to avoid it where possible and manage workloads and stress levels if you begin to feel the strain.
Sleep more; despite our high-octane, always on electric powered world, our bodies haven’t quite dropped the habits of several millennia. They have evolved powerful rhythms that are based on light and dark and, put simply, require more rest when the nights are longer. Cells start to shut down when the sun goes down and by persistently resisting the urge to nap you’ll be overworking an increasingly tired (human) engine. Rest more, nap more and sleep more. Over stimulation in the evenings: TV, Internet, that wee dram again, will all combine to keep you wide awake, alert and ultimately exhausted. Switch off early at the end of the day, don the slippers, heat the coco and doze off early.
Actually, I do Care what the Weatherman says…
Finally, remember that when it’s cold and dry, viruses come out to play. Keep a weather eye on, well, the weather conditions. Cold and dry conditions are the favoured modus operandi when it comes to breeding for the average cold virus. In addition, when it’s still and foggy, there’s less air circulation to blow away the cobwebs and the germs alike. You’ll be less at risk during bright clear, breezy spells, as germs get blown away quickly, so ensure that you take additional precautions during dry, cold and still conditions.
Article provided by Carlo Pandian
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer and blogs on a range of health topics including the best place to find same day doctors in London to top tips to battle the bugs.