Health

How to Protect Yourself from Winter Illnesses

As we approach the end of summer, we have no choice to think about the impending winter and what this is set to do to our bodies. We’re more prone to illness in winter, thanks to dry air and various viruses that are circulating the air. Therefore, we must take the necessary steps to protect ourselves from winter illnesses, so that we’re able to handle the cold weather and remain as healthy as possible.

Wash Your Hands Well and Often

It goes without saying that you come into contact with illnesses by physically interacting with other people and surfaces that they’ve touched. As a result, if you’re looking to avoid falling victim to viruses, you should wash your hands well and often. Every time you use the toilet, before and after you eat, and before and after using public transport are just some of the times that you should be washing your hands. Although it’s vital to keep your hands clean to avoid contracting illnesses, you shouldn’t go overboard, as this can strip your hands of their natural oils. It’s all about using common sense to determine when is necessary to wash your hands.

Keep Unclean Hands Away from Your Face

We’re all guilty of touching our faces way too much; however, this can be a leading cause of winter illnesses. For instance, many of us use a computer at work, meaning that we touch a keyboard and a mouse that likely hasn’t been cleaned for months on end, and then touch our faces. Our faces are home to our nose and mouth, which is where you’ll breathe in viruses, meaning that your hands are acting as a gateway for illnesses to travel through. It’s impossible to never touch your face at all, but you should be mindful about doing so and avoid it as much as possible.

Clean Common Surfaces Often

After surfaces are touched, they cling onto bacteria, meaning that illnesses can be passed from person to surface to person. Therefore, any surfaces that are regularly used by multiple people should be regularly disinfected. This is especially true of surfaces that are used for food preparation, otherwise you run the risk of people consuming virus-ridden foods. Meanwhile, we should clean our smartphones and other electronics regularly, as most of us use these for the majority of the day.

Spice Up Your Dinners

Firstly, certain spices are packed with antioxidants, making them perfect for combatting winter viruses. If you’re not someone who takes well to hot spices, worry not, as they’re relatively mild options. In fact, cinnamon and ginger are two of the most effective spices for providing your body with antioxidants. Despite this, if you are someone who appreciates a spicy kick to your food, cayenne pepper is also full of antioxidants. Similarly, ginger has the power to soothe your stomach and even clear your airways during flu season.

Take Some Zinc

The benefits of vitamin C are drilled into us from such a young age in an appeal to get us to eat oranges; however, zinc is actually the most effective supplement when it comes to preventing colds. In fact, there’s limited evidence to suggest that any other popular “cold prevention” method works at all. The only ones that we can accept with certainty is handwashing and zinc intake. 10 to 15 milligrams of zinc per day can protect you from viruses and can even work to make you feel better when you’re already under the weather. This could reduce the amount of time that you have a cold from two weeks to three days.

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