AS the colder temperatures creep in so do symptoms of winter colds and flu.
Sneezing, coughing and feeling a bit rough in general can leave us clutching at our cups of tea feeling sorry for ourselves.
With everyone staying in for most of 2020, a lot of us were kept away from the common cold.
Now as we start to mingle once more we're bound to pick something up from someone.
While it's likely to be a common cold, you can never be too careful and experts have warned that many people who have Covid-19 are displaying cold-like symptoms – so it's import to get a test if you're worried.
'The worst cold ever' has been trending on social media platforms for weeks and if you've not yet had a cold you might be wondering how you can boost your immunity to keep them at bay.
While we all know that getting our vitamins in can help, you might be a bit bored of relentlessly chugging the orange juice.
Here nutritional therapist Camilla Gray at Optibac Probiotics reveals six ways you can boost your immunity that might surprise you.
While it might seem unconventional, Camilla says knitting could give you more than just a cute new woolly jumper.
She explained: "Knitting is linked with lowered stress levels (which benefits immune function) and a greater sense of wellbeing.
"Because it occupies the mind and body, it also stops people reaching for alcohol and cigarettes, both of which depress immune function."
2. Cold water
This might seem strange as it involves you making yourself cold, when all you want is to settle in with a hot chocolate, but plenty of studies have examined the immune-boosting effects of cold water.
"It helps to boost the white blood cell count because the body is forced to react to changing conditions.
"Over time, your body becomes better at activating its defences and so makes it easier to fight off the nasty bugs", Camilla said.
Try bracing yourself under the shower, or if you're feeling brave, take up wild swimming.
We all love a good snog, and the experts say you should get your chapstick out as it can actually help boost your immune system.
Camilla explained: "By swapping saliva, you’re being exposed to more germs and helping each other to bolster your natural defences.
"A Dutch study found that a single 10 second kiss transferred as many as 80 million bacteria from partner to partner."
4. Forest bathing
As great as it might sound, it doesn't actually involve you having a bath in a forest.
"Forest bathing is an emerging trend which sees people mindfully walking in the forest and truly connecting with nature.
"It originated in Japan, but people all over the world are giving it a try. Research has shown it can lower blood pressure due to the deep breathing and in turn balance the immune system", Camilla said.
The 5 ways you can help protect your little one from the winter sniffles
As kids are now back at school it’s likely they will pick up a cold.
The common cold is an all too familiar part of family life. Unsurprisingly, children are the group who catch colds most often – 7 to 10 colds per year compared to 2-5 in adults.
Protection is better than treatment when it comes to the common cold and Kristoffer Ahlerup, Commercial Director of Enzymatica, the manufacturers of ColdZyme has revealed his tips on how you can protect your kids.
- Sufficient rest: The NHS suggests that children aged between 3 to 5 years old get between 10 to 13 hours including naps, children who are 6 to 12 years old between 9 to 12 hours and teenagers (aged 13 to 18) 8 to 10 hours per night.
- Eat well: Offering options from all five food groups provides the right mix of vitamins, minerals and nutrients required to stay healthy. Vitamins C, D and B6 are amongst some of the most important.
- Good hand hygiene: Most early years settings will assist younger children with this process, but the best place for them to learn good hand hygiene is at home.
- Stay active: The NHS recommends that children aged 5-16 should do 60 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. Exercise doesn’t have to mean taking your children to expensive clubs. Adopting simple changes such as walking or cycling to and from school or popping to the park for a post-school play can also be beneficial.
- Mouth spray: Using a mouth spray such as ColdZyme® that forms a protective barrier at the back of the throat where cold viruses start to take hold and multiply. The earlier you use it in the cold’s lifecycle (as soon as symptoms start to appear), the better as the protective barrier can help shorten the duration of a cold by up to 3.5 days
5. Having a pet dog
If you've been trying to encourage your office manager to get an office dog or even trying to persuade your partner to get a poodle then this could be the excuse you need.
"Cuddling up to your furry friend could be helping your immune system and gut microbiome– just the excuse you needed to convince yourself to get one!
"Dogs bring bacteria that you might not unusually encounter into the home, thus increasing your chances of warding off other nasties", Camilla said.
There are plenty of supplements that can help boost your immune system and the government also recommends that Brits take vitamin D.
People who were at high risk of Covid-19 were previously given Vitamin D supplements for free.
But the experts say to boost your immunity further, you should opt for a probiotic.
Camilla explained: "Topping up your levels of friendly bacteria can help to fight off the baddies.
"Probiotics or ‘good bacteria’ top up our levels of friendly bacteria and promote a healthy gut microbiome, helping to bridge the gap, boost immunity and reduce the unexpected effects of ‘the worst cold ever".
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