Getting that bone-aching, nose-reddening flu is inevitable each winter. Or is it? We're looking at some unusual ways to battle the blasted bug.
Go ahead – lock yourself indoors and avoid anyone with the sniffles like the plague. Yes, you’ll lower your odds of getting sick, but germs are everywhere, and you can’t dodge them forever. The key to staying healthy is strengthening your immune system to help fight against the winter bugs you do come in contact with.
Here are six easy methods to see you through to spring with no red nose or pounding head in sight. Result!
Massage lowers levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which destroys immune cells. It also ups your stores of natural killer cells – the immune system’s front line of defence. Yay! It only takes a 20-minute weekly rubdown to reap the benefits, so solicit a backrub from your SO, or treat yourself to one from a pro.
Laughter lowers cortisol levels and releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that trigger our immune response. To tickle your funny bone, spend time with a mate who shares your sense of humour, watch a funny YouTube clip, or follow your inner child’s lead: kids find something to laugh about 300 times a day, while sadly adults laugh only 17 times!
Most forms of exercise enhance immune system activity. But doing a mind-body workout such as dancing also reduces stress levels and raises endorphins. And if you boogie to Beyonce, well that’s just another bonus.
Sex also releases mood-boosting chemicals which rouse the immune system. But don’t fret if you’re not in the mood: Just a snuggle can also have flu-fighting benefits.
Granny was right – keeping warm can help you avoid coughs, colds and flu. After our lovely mild October, we’re not sporting our fave winter fashion just yet. So if there’s a sudden icy snap, we’ll be more likely to feel the cold and start to shiver. And that’s not all, we lose up to 30% of our body heat through our heads – so wear a hat ladies.
Nothing you do to keep colds and flu at bay is more effective than washing your hands. Yes, most pesky viruses get into your body by hitching a ride on your fingers, hopping off at your nose, eyes, or lips. So by washing your paws frequently with soap and hot water, you can get rid of the infection from your palms and nip the flu bugs in the bud. A handy tip may be to keep a bottle of sanitiser in your handbag. Got it?
By Jennifer Conway
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