How To Avoid Getting Sick This Winter – Tricks You’ve Never Heard Of Before

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Getting sick sucks right? You know how it goes, first you get a tickle in your throat and before you know it the tickle has turned into a full blown cold. Your whole body aches and you just generally feel yuck! But the good news is there are plenty of things you can do, that you’ve probably never even heard about, that can help you dodge the dreaded lurgie this winter.  And because prevention is always better than cure we’ve teamed up with the peeps at Comvita to show you how it’s done.

Comvita has an amazing Winter Wellness Range that provides a natural alternative to not only relieving the symptoms of colds but preventing us from getting them in the first place. There are 13 products in the range including lollipop style lozenges, oral sprays, immunity support supplements and elixirs. All of the products contain active ingredients sourced locally (here in New Zealand) including Manuka honey, propolis, echinacea, zinc and olive leaf extract – all the good stuff. 

So when it comes to avoiding catching a nasty winter bug here are some of the best kept secrets on the planet to help you stay fighting fit all winter long. 

 

TIPS & TRICKS FOR STAYING WELL THIS WINTER

Soak Your Socks Drinking plenty of water isn’t the only way to  keep your body hydrated in winter. As crazy as it sounds, wearing a pair of cold, wet cotton socks, then putting dry woollen socks on top, could help stave off sickness. According to Leslie Solomonian, assistant professor of medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine: “This encourages arteries to deliver more blood to the feet in an attempt to dry out those wet socks. If worn overnight, this will drive circulation throughout the entire body, which increases surveillance of the immune system.”
 
Get Gargling According to Prevention magazine, when a virus invades, it has to fight its way through the mucus in your throat before attacking your cells. “To a virus, that’s a huge journey,” which is why you don’t get sick immediately after exposure, says Dr. Greger, a public health expert and founder of NutritionFacts.org. Regular gargling washes away a layer of mucus, with the virus trapped in it. In fact, one Japanese study found that people who gargled regularly were 35 percent less likely to catch a cold than non-garglers.  Oh and when trying to decide what to gargle – plain tap water is as good as anything.

Increase Your Immunity Don’t wait until it’s too late and you’ve already caught a cold to take action. Give your body an extra boost in winter with supplements that specifically support your immune system. Fresh garlic is a potent infection fighter and using garlic in cooking is a great way to help bolster your immunity. Manuka Honey is also a natural cold and flu fighter and is great to incorporate into your diet at this time of year.  

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Above: Comvita’s Manuka Honey & Blackcurrant Elixir also contains zinc which is great for immune support.

 

Hot Wash Your Clothes According to an International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) report, the flu virus can survive 8 to 12 hours on cotton clothing the best way to protect yourself and your family is to crank up the heat when washing your clothes.  “Both very hot water and a full drying cycle can help prevent illness,” says Allison Aiello, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan. “It’s likely that the heat helps kill some disease-causing viruses.”

Socialise More Research shows that the key to a strong immune system is to socialise. You may feel like hibernating when it’s cold outside but if you want to stay well the trick is to get out and spend time with other people. One Carnegie Mellon University study involved researchers shooting rhinovirus—the cause of the common cold—up people’s noses and found that those with the most diverse social networks were least susceptible to getting sick. Experts aren’t sure why, but they say that social diversity can also help build up immunity.  

Take Care Around Kids According to Jack Gwaltney, MD, and founder of CommonCold.org says: “Children keep the common cold virus longer than adults and they can be infected and really not show as many signs of a cold as an adult. They may just have a little nasal mucus, but they’re still infectious.” So hugging and kissing and even holding hands with little people ups your chances of getting sick. Dr Gwaltney says whenever you interact with a child be sure to wash your hands afterwards. 

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Above: My 10-year-old son Jed loves the Comvita Lemon & Honey Lollipops which help boost his immunity naturally during winter.

 

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Above: A hot lemon and Manuka honey drink is great for soothing a sore throat and fighting unwanted lurgies at the same time.

 

More Mushroomsrecent study gave some credence to the belief that mushrooms can help boost the immune system. Participants in the study who ate cooked shitake mushrooms were found to have a stronger immune response then the group who did not. Mushrooms on toast for brekkie anyone?
 
Fight Germs With Needles Acupuncture helps to ensure that all of your body’s fluids are circulating as they should says Mary van den Berg-Wolf, MD, a licensed acupuncturist and a professor of medicine at Temple University. “There are systems we can activate that deal primarily with ‘defensive energy,’ which can prevent you from getting a cold.” 
 
A Sleep Schedule We all know that getting enough zzzs is crucial to staying healthy but it seems there are now clear links between sticking to a sleep schedule and staying well. “There are clear links between sleep and the immune system,” says W. Christopher Winter, MD, a sleep medicine specialist. “During the cold and flu season, make sure you’re not only getting enough sleep, but that you’re really sticking to your schedule.” Dr. Winter says that since most bodily functions, immune activity included, operate by the clock, adhering to a strict bedtime will keep your system running smoothly. 
 
Drink More Beer We all know that too much alcohol is never a good thing but did you know that a small amount of beer may actually help you ward off colds and flu? A bottle of beer contains health-protecting polyphenols, says Johannes Scherr, MD, PhD, a sports medicine physician in Germany. In a recent study, he found that runners who regularly drank non-alcoholic beer were less likely to contract an upper respiratory tract infection after a race than non-drinkers. He credits the anti-inflammatory quality of polyphenols for the immune-strengthening effect of beer.

Hands Free We all know that it’s essential to wash our hands regularly but it’s just as important to keep our hands away from our faces. Most of us unconsciously touch our mouth, noses, lips and eyes thousands of times a day and this is how bugs gain entry to your body. Dr. Margarita Rohr of the New York University Langone Medical Centre pointed out on CNN that, “Not touching your face greatly reduces your odds of getting sick.” 

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Above: Comvita’s Winter Wellness elixir helps to soothe a sore throat naturally.

 

COMVITA WINTER WELLNESS DISCOUNT CODE

If you want to protect yourself and your family the natural way this winter then check out the Comvita Winter Wellness Range at Comvita.co.nz and enter ‘Comvita2016’ at checkout for 20% off everything in the range – until 22 August 2016.  

 

#comvitawinterwellness