We all know the drill, we're getting older, bones ache, muscles aren't as flexible as they used to be, general mobility can be an issue, and to top it all off our immune system collapses at the first contact of someone with a sniffle, well no more, we thought we'd write a guide with the ageing population in mind on how to avoid all these colds and flu, so here are our 5 Quick Fixes to Avoiding Colds and Flu
1) Go Wash Your Hands - Now!
Advice from the Public Health Laboratory Service in the US states 'Although most infections are mainly carried in the air and transmitted by the "aerosol" effect when someone sneezes, germs can be transmitted by physical contact and enter the body when infected hands touch vulnerable parts like our eyes, mouths and noses’. Fear not though, as washing your hands often (technically drying them on disposable paper towels is better germ wise but bad for environment – so your call!) - can seriously reduce the chances of catching cold or flu, it even helps protect against the dreaded rotavirus.
2) Drink Plenty… Water
We all know we should be drinking about eight glasses of water a day to stay healthy, but who actually manages it? My personal version is fill a 2 litre bottle of water before bed, add a little (sugar free) cordial and then I have to finish it the next day. The reasoning behind all these trips to the bathroom is that water helps our aging kidneys function properly and flushes out the toxins that accumulate over time. This gets worse as we get older and have a cold, because being dehydrated makes your mucus drier and thicker which means it struggles to cope against all the invading bacteria. So if you've already caught a cold give your immune system a helping hand by drinking plenty of fluids to help flush out the infection.
3) Sleep Soundly (Read Our Blog On How To Sleep Better As We Age) http://www.aidapt.com.au/news/49_aidapt-australias-guide-to-better-sleep.html
Not getting enough zzzzs makes us more prone to infection, but it's not just a matter of quantity, the quality of your sleep is incredibly important, read the above and thank us for it when the winter is over. Don’t forget although we can get grumpy as we get older our moods also affects our ability to fight off infections, and if you feel stressed you are more likely to become ill compared to when you're feeling great.
They say you should practice what you preach, and although I hate to consider my blog “preachy” I do try and take my own advice, so I have been taking supplements full time recently, nothing too hard-core, but taking a daily multivitamin is especially important in the winter when we may be less likely to be eating enough fresh fruit and vegetables… or maybe that’s just be me.
However I get it… more pills… so if you’ve taken enough of them try probiotic yoghurts, there are the ones full of 'friendly' bacteria and are increasingly recognised for their importance not only in maintaining a healthy digestive system, but for improving the body's natural defence mechanism, plus they’re delicious!
5) Eat the Right Foods
The mineral zinc is also great at fighting off colds and provides a boost to a flagging immune system. If you’re going au natural then eat plenty of meat, oysters, eggs, seafood, tofu, black- eyed peas and wheat germ. Better yet Zinc and Vitamin C make a great cold-busting duo. Garlic not only fends off vampires but also helps ease chest complaints and (small) amounts taken daily has been shown to reduce the frequency of colds and flu. Echinacea is also popular when trying to boost the immune system with the added bonus of helping heal viral and bacterial infections. Remember Echinacea is good at providing a temporary boost to the immune system, you should only take it for six to eight weeks at a time.