The ‘Flu’ or seasonal influenza, is most common in New Zealand from May through to September where our immune systems are the weakest and the air is cold and dry, ideal conditions for viruses to be transmitted. Keeping healthy can be an uphill battle but with these tips you can maximize your chances of fighting these viruses.
#1 Hand Hygiene: Washing or sanitising your hands is like a do-it-yourself vaccine and is the single most important step to preventing or minimizing the spread of germs around the workplace or home. Germs can reside on an object for up to two hours meaning that if someone in your workplace or school is infected, touching something after them carries a high risk of catching it yourself.
#2 Healthy Habits: Ensuring the spread of germs is kept to a minimum, covering your mouth with your sleeve or a tissue when sneezing is very important to ensure that we do not pass on any harmful bacteria to others. Secondly, keeping your work station clean by wiping down every day will mean that any bacteria having landed there are less likely to come into contact with you.
#3 Keep Hydrated: Our bodies require a lot of water to fight germs and maintain our immunity, especially in the winter months. Although you may not feel thirsty maintaining a water intake of around one litre a day will help fight any germs you come into contact with. This is because water oxygenates your blood and helps flush our harmful toxins in our immune systems that could cause you to fall ill.
#4 Exercise: It has been proven that keeping fit and healthy is a sure way to keeping your body and immune system ready to fight against unwelcome germs. When you exercise you increase your blood flow through your body which basically means that your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness such as the ‘flu’ before it spreads. So just going for a 20-30min walk every day to get that heart rate up will dramatically reduce your chances of falling ill!
#5 Eat Nutritious foods: When all is said and done, it is our immune system that is the guard that prevents us from falling ill so why not do all we can to strengthen it? Other than taking a vaccine shot, one sure way to boost our immunity is paying close attention to our diet. During the colder months we may find that we eat less healthy (and harder to find) fruits and vegetables and more comfort foods such as confectionery or other tasty goodies. This means that we are missing out on essential vitamins and nutrients that help our body and immune system stay healthy and ready to combat any illness.