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Flu and cold season is coming up again! Many people are already walking around with a snotty nose, or hiding in bed with a fever. Would you like to avoid falling victim to the common cold or the flu virus this fall and winter?

Our tips may help you and your kids avoid these inconvenient illnesses!

Wash your hands

Washing your hands frequently after encounters with other people, riding on public transport, and office phones of keyboards. The flue virus can stay alive on non-organic surfaces for up to two hours, so don't think inanimate objects won't do you any harm. Make your hand washing session a good and proper one. That two second rub just won't cut it. Pretend to be a surgeon and scrub your hands clean. Before you've done this, don't eat or touch your face.

Sleep longer

Sleep is one of the things that helps your immune system to stay strong, or to recover. Or should we say that stress and lack of sleep really harms your immune system? Either statement is true. Are you already feeling a bit snotty and sneezy? Jump into bed an hour or two early with a good book, and ask your other half to make a nice cup of tea with rum for you. If you have kids, they'll benefit from extra sleep as well. Why not snuggle up on the couch together with a movie, and then go to bed early? When you're really ill, you'll be in bed all day long anyway, whether you want to or not. Consider this strategy to be a preemtive strike.

Make a healthy diet a priority

Your grandma probably tells you to make sure you get your vitamin C. Vitamin C is actually quite powerful, and may well help you recover from your illness more quickly or can contribute to preventing it in the first place. But to really keep your immune system running, you'll need more than vitamin C or even multivitamins and minerals out of a box. You'll need a healthy and balanced diet that includes foods from all major food groups and not too many fats and sugars.

Work out

Working out a couple of times a week for 3o to 90 minutes can really give your general health a boost. Achieving this goal is much simpler than you may think, too. Walking to the grocery store, shopping, and walking back home will do it for most people. You can also grab an inspiring work out video off off YouTube and enjoy it while you're watching TV or waiting for dinner to be ready. Being physically active is great for all aspects of your health, but it also helps you fight infections more easily.

Stay hydrated

Most people drink too little water. You can ensure that you keep hydrated by always keeping a bottle of water with you and using it. I personally recommend the Bobble water bottle with a filter. This is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than buying bottled water and discarding the bottles. Filtered water also tastes much better than tap water. Whatever option you choose, make sure you get at least 1.5 liters a day. Alcohol, and to a lesser extent caffeine, are offenders that dehydrate you avoiding these or enjoying them in moderate amounts could indirectly reduce your chances of catching a cold or coming down with the flu.

A flu jab

More sensitive people including pregnant women, people with reduced immune system, and the elderly are advised to get a flu shot by medical professionals' associations in most countries. Even with all the steps we mentioned that would strengthen your immune system, you may benefit from getting a flu shot. Ask your pharmacy or doctor about getting the shot. Children aged six months or older can get a flu shot, and should in some circumstances. It is best to discuss this with your child's pediatrician. Of course, those nasty cods or the even worse flu do sometimes catch up with us anyway, despite any preventative measures we may have taken. If you suspect you have the flu, or your child does, stay at home at the first sign. Carrying on regular life lengthens the recovery process and will infect other people. You may also like to read about differences between the flu and a common cold.

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