Well, we are in January, and in Northern parts of India, especially Delhi and its neighbouring regions, are already shivering in cold.
The coming days are likely to get chillier with the India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicting light to moderate rainfall in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi by early next week.
Though winter is the time for celebrations, it is also the season of cold and influenza.
Here are 10 tips to avoid catching a cold and flu:
1. Keep your body warm:
Take our those sweaters, coats, shawls, caps and mufflers and use them. The less you shiver, the lesser your immune system weakens, thereby protecting you from catching a cold.
2. Wash your hands:
Maintain basic hygiene. Be it at home or at the office or while having fun outside, make sure you wash your hands properly before eating something. Remember, influenza and pneumonia is communicable diseases.
3. Stay hydrated:
Cold and flu tend to dehydrate us quite unknowingly. Drink lots of water throughout the day to maintain normal metabolic reactions and breathing.
4. Exercise regularly:
No matter how much you long to hibernate in winter, work out for at least 20 minutes a day to keep your blood circulation and energy level in order. Besides, exercise strengthens of the immune system which helps us fight harmful bacteria and virus.
5. Garlic has it all:
Like Vitamin C, Zinc also guards you against catching a cold. Make garlic a part of your daily food as it contains both Vitamin C and Zinc. [We simply love sipping hot garlic tea in winter mornings, don’t we?!]
6. Take your daily dose of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D is a must when it comes to reduce the inflammation caused by influenza.
It also fights flu-causing viruses. You may take a supplement or simply go out and bask in the winter sun for your daily dose of Vitamin D.
7. Have a sound sleep:
No matter how much you want to party in winter, make sure you get your eight hours’ of sleep daily to have a healthy immune system to be able to fight seasonal diseases.
8. Try probiotics:
Studies have shown that taking probiotics like lactobacilli and bifidobacteria makes body resistant to bacterial and viral infections.
9. Avoid crowded places:
Winter is a time when we don’t mind slipping into crowded buses or places as we don’t feel uncomfortable, thanks to the pleasant weather.
But it is this time when we should be more careful about being part of a crowd because it is easier for infections to pass from one person to other(s) via sneezing and coughing.
10. Plan according to weather:
Cloudy, misty and foggy weather is very favourable for the survival of cold/flu-causing viruses as the air is heavy with water droplets and there is neither sunshine to kill them nor breeze to blow them away.
So, reserve your outdoor plans, if possible, for sunnier days.
(Sources: Daily Mail, Chatelaine, IMD)