As we enter into wintertime, when we are more prone to illness
When we develop an illness we seem to automatically stick to old wives’ tales. We use this outdated advice to try and prevent ourselves and our loved ones from getting a cold or the flu.
But science has come a long way and the latest research can do a better job of finding you ways to prevent illness this season. To give your health a fighting chance this winter, we have sought out for you the latest medical research and studies. We will reveal the ways not to get sick that they have uncovered below.
What to do to not get sick:
1. Avoid Mega-dosing on Vitamin C
In a study published by the Harvard Medical School, it discovered that taking excess vitamin C will not make any difference to your health. If you are not deficient in Vitamin C to start with, the excess will just go to waste.
Generally speaking, taking a multivitamin and mineral complex supplement will only benefit people who are already deficient in these things.
2. Surgical masks don’t stop you getting sick
Wearing a surgical mask in public can prevent you from spreading illnesses to others, but since they are not completely airtight, they can’t actually stop you breathing in airborne viruses from other people.
This is why they have been never recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
3. Avoid talking to sick people face to face
In 2013 a study it was revealed that you are more than 8-9 times more likely to catch a flu virus from being breathed on, than from someone sneezing on you. You are therefore more likely to get sick when someone simply speaks to you – even worse if they yell at you.
This is why it is important for sick people to stay home from work when they are ill – it is not a sign of laziness, it is a sign of compassion for their colleagues!
4. Hug more – when you are healthy!
As a preventative measure leading up to the cold and flu season, show your loved ones that you care by giving them lots of hugs! A study published in 2014 in the Sage Journal discovered that you are less likely to get sick when you feel socially connected and cared for.
Other studies have shown that a loving connection releases the hormone oxytocin into the bloodstream, which is an anti-inflammatory. Love can literally cure illness, according to science!
5. Physical contact with a sick person won’t necessarily make you sick
Most illnesses are airborne, and whilst it is always common courtesy to wash your hands before you come into contact with someone whom you may, for example shake hands with, it is unlikely that act will make you sick.
There is simply no evidence that you can get the flu from touching someone’s hand or skin. You have to breathe it in. If your child needs a hug when they feel unwell, it will actually help them more for you to embrace them, and you are not likely to get sick from giving them some tender care.
6. Antibiotics could make your illness worse
Overuse of antibiotics has been proven scientifically to actually increase antibiotic resistance. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends you avoid them altogether when you have colds and flu as they absolutely not effective against them.
They will not make you feel better, will not stop an illness from spreading, and not only will they not cure you, you could subject yourself to dangerous side-effects.
7. Keep Warm
The reason we get sick more when the temperature drops is because colder temperatures enable various viruses to flourish. Also, the flu needs cold air to replicate and spread more efficiently.
Wear more layers when you are out, and make sure your bedding is warmer at night. Also, a fever is the healthy way your body fights illness, and if your temperature never rises above about 42C, you will actually enable yourself to heal quicker.
8. Simple solutions
Of course, prevention is always the best cure. Keeping healthy, to begin with, is the best course of action. Eat nutritious food to give your immune system a boost, get plenty of rest and dress sensibly for the weather.
If you find you do contract a cold or the flu, make sure you get plenty of fluids and rest. Ice can soothe a sore throat, and honey can relieve a cough (however do not give honey to an infant aged under a year). If your illness gets out of control, doctors can always prescribe a specific flu anti-viral drug.