IT’S WINTER AND PEOPLE will inevitably get sick, whether that is a sniffly nose or the strong case of the flu, it happens every year. But there are many ways to look after the human body to prevent getting ill in the first place.
Prevention is better than cure and the Chester Broughton Centre is doing all they can to help people stay healthy. Pop in for a flu vaccination and many people, including pregnant women, over 65’s and those with some medical conditions can get it for free. Boots also have a winter flu jab which costs £12.99 or is also free for some people.
But a vaccination is not the only thing that can help this December. Eating healthy is important all year round, but it is especially important during the bad weather. Sally Peters, a Dietician and Nutritionist said the immune system needs a boost at winter because the body is slow to fight colds and flus.
“Everyone knows they should be eating fruits and vegetables to attack viruses, but most people eat less at winter because of the tasty Christmas goodies,” Sally said.
A smoothie is the easiest way to get plenty of goodness into the body. Pomegranates, kale, orange peel, and spinach are all antioxidants that can stop a cold from developing in the first place.
“Just one smoothie in the morning can fight bacteria and viruses,” Sally added.
Paracetemols are not the answer when a fever kicks in, according to the Dietician. They should only be taken if necessary, because the body needs to understand how to create antibodies and repair itself.
Many may not really think of looking after the voice specifically to stay healthy, but most cold viruses enter the body through the mouth.
Natalie Horne, a Singing Teacher and Voice Specialist recommends refraining from talking for a long period of time when outside in the cold weather. If that isn’t possible, wearing a scarf close to the mouth may not be 100 percent effective in blocking away viruses, but it might help.
Talking with a proper technique can help to keep the throat healthy.
“You may not even realise that you are talking with a tense jaw or tongue,” Natalie said.
“But these are factors that can add tension to the voice and make you more likely to get a sore throat, especially during winter,” she added.
Natalie even suggested that people start singing lessons to learn how to talk with correct techniques. There are many singing teachers in the Chester area.
Getting enough shut eye can help to keep the body working properly. But just sleeping eight hours a night might not be enough to fight away a cold.
“We develop the first signs of a cold at night,” Peter Rose, a Sleep Specialist for over 20 years, said.
“Sleeping in a warm room is better for the body than a cold room because our body can fight bacteria if it is at a higher temperature,” Peter said.
During the cold months, sleeping in plenty of layers with a thick quilt will make you less likely to wake up with a headache and a sore throat. Going to sleep earlier can keep your body feel fresh and healthy because the body can rest and repair, rather than facing the cold weather outside.
Using public transport may be good for the environment, but it isn’t for our health, according to Sally.
“You are more likely to catch something in a public place,” she said. This is because people are confined into a small space so if one person coughs germs, it can easily be transferred.
Chester Intelligencer reporter, Amy Poole