It’s that time of year where everyone you pass in the street seems to be coughing or sniffling with either a cold or, worse, the flu. It is almost impossible to avoid at this time of the year, other than going into isolation. There are, however, ways of minimising your chances of catching a cold or the flu. We all know about the benefit of exercise and healthy eating so in the article we will focus on other ways to help ward off a cold and ways of keeping your home healthy.
Wrap up warmly
The immune system doesn’t work as well when we are cold. It is thought that being cold and shivering suppresses our immune system which makes us more likely to catch a cold. So, wrapping up warmly will help prevent that annoying cold. As part of wrapping up it is recommended that you wear a scarf to cover your nose. The nose acts as a protective barrier to trap viruses but if it gets too cold or dry then this defence stops working. Wearing a scarf will stop cold air getting into your nose.
Get plenty of sleep
According to the Independent, sleep is an important factor in keeping your immune system strong. It has been found that a lack of sleep can reduce your store of “killer” cells which means your immune system is depressed. Getting a good night’s sleep will boost your immune system to help keep you healthy.
Let in Sunlight
According to the NHS a lack of sunlight disrupts our sleep and waking cycles so they advise that you get out into the daylight as much as possible but also try to let as much daylight into your home too. So open the curtains and blinds to let as much light in as possible.
We typically close our windows and bunker down for the Winter, but this reduces the air quality in the home which builds up pollutants and can lead to illness. It is recommended to open the windows to let in some fresh air as often as possible. This will flush out the stale air and allow fresh clean air in.
Having the central heating on will dry out the air in your home. This has a detrimental effect on our ability to fight off illness because it dries out the mucous membrane in our noses. The mucous membrane is a vital component in our ability to defend against colds and flu so use a humidifier in your home to help keep your mucous membrane working properly.
Wash your hands
Your hands come into contact with all sorts of germs every day. When you get home you will then transfer these to light switches, phones, remote controls, door handles and other high touch surfaces. These are then a perfect place to pass germs on to others. By washing your hands regularly, you will reduce the chance of passing your germs on.
Buy some plants
According to the Royal Horticultural Society plants can help improve the air quality in your homes by adding oxygen and removing pollutants. So, it is worth investing in some indoor plants which will improve your air quality.
Clean your home
Your home is a breeding ground for bugs and the most germ-ridden parts of your home will probably come as a surprise to you. It has been found that the kitchen has the most germs of all the places in your home, especially your dish cloth or sponge! Even your toothbrush and toothbrush holder count amongst the items with most germ contaminated according to ideal home. Wipe surfaces regularly with anti-bacterial cleaners and vacuum your carpets regularly, carpets are also a hotbed of germs according to Good Housekeeping.
During the Winter, with the adverse weather and shorter days, the last thing anyone wants is to have a cold or the Flu. By following these handy tips, you can reduce the risk of catching or spreading an illness and avoid the misery that it brings.