When we think of summer we usually don’t imagine feeling under the weather but unfortunately summer colds and flus are a stark reality, viruses have no problem surviving in the summer months! Colds and flus tend to creep in while we are traveling, summer partying and basically not looking after ourselves. No matter the time of year, miserable Kleenex days on the couch or in the office are zero fun, especially for those around you, let’s be honest.
There is only one thing for it, AVOIDANCE! These are VOYA’s top tips to protect yourself against those aches, coughs, fevers and the annoying common cold.
Did you know that recent research from the University of Arizona has found that when someone is sick in an office it only takes four hours for those germs to spread? Here’s what the research revealed:
‘’Completed just in time for flu season, the study finds that more than half of commonly touched surfaces in an office – like doorknobs, copy machine buttons, the office refrigerator – can become infected with a virus when a single person in the office is ill. Some of the likeliest germ hotpots include the coffee pot handle in the break room, telephones, desktops and table tops.’’
Wash Your Hands
It may seem like such as a simple thing, but no matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who have a cold and are contagious, you will need to wash your hands repeatedly to combat catching it. It doesn’t matter if the water is hot or cold it’s the scrubbing motion that counts!
They say a good way to time yourself washing your hands to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while scrubbing the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Sanitize Sanitize Sanitize
Get those Dettol wipes out. Wipe your computer, door handles, chairs, the fridge door, the microwaves and light switches. You will need to use a good disinfectant even if these surfaces look clean, as viruses can live on a surface for up to 48 hours, do this at least once a week.
Don’t forget the equipment used at the gym also —like free weights or cross trainers/ bicycle handles— try wipe them down clean first with antibacterial wipes, these are hotspots for germs.
Cleaning your phone with a sanitizing wipe regularly cuts back on the germs that get near your face and mouth. Think about how much you handle your phone on a daily basis!
Beware of BBQ & Finger Food
Summer is a time for festivals, BBQs and outdoor parties but remember these can be potential breeding ground for spreading illness, shared bowls and dipping foods can be exposed to someone with a virus- just something to be aware of, we’re not saying don’t go, just watch who has their hands in the salad bowl!
Drink Hot Tea
Drinking hot black or green tea with lemon and honey in the summer help combat colds and flu, drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia—the hair follicles in the nose!
Check out VOYA’s Tea Range.
Superfoods- Get Some Protein into Your Diet
If your diet is low in protein you are depleting your immune system, you need protein rich ingredients in all your meals to combat illness for example; fish and eggs etc. Include some summer super foods into your diet also and a multivitamin to meet your nutritional needs! Summer superfoods include kale, salmon, nuts and blueberries.
During cold and flu season VOYA recommend nine servings of whole fruits and vegetables every day which is quite difficult and so we found that juicing allows you to drink that amount in concentrated form.
It can be difficult to stick to a balanced diet in summer especially when we get some breaks of good weather. Plans of cooking a healthy dinner after work can be thrown out the window when that last minute text comes from a friend suggesting an impromptu glass of wine or some outdoor tapas. Let’s face it, it’s hard to say no and it could be raining tomorrow! Check out our Smoothie Blog for suggestions and made life that bit easier on yourself!
You may not think it but massages helps to combat colds and flus! Having a massage at least once a month increases circulation and boosts immunity by nourishing cells with extra oxygen and blood, it also de-stresses you and the less stressed you are, the less you will attract germs! Make having a monthly massage part of your wellbeing routine and reap the benefits!
Sweat it Out!
Exercise is key, sweating out all those toxins and boosting your immune system with regular exercise really helps. Hit the gym or a class and you will feel so much better. You will also sleep better and our bodies need eight hours of sleep to stimulate the response from our cells that protects us from viruses.
Sweat and sleep are reliable defenses against infection.
Getting enough sleep is key, so many health issues arise from lack of sleep, including colds and even weight gain. Your body regenerates while you sleep , a good night’s rest helps to reduce blood pressure and keeps your immune system strong and healthy! When your body is tired you can’t fight off germs or infections as easily.
Maybe it’s not a Cold
On occasion and especially during summer we can confuse having an allergic reaction with having the cold, as symptoms can be similar, congestion, coughing and sneezing. If you think this might be the case visit your doctor to figure out if there is an underlying allergy.
If you’d like to know more you can read 5 Ways to determine colds from allergies.