How to stay well over harsh win­ter

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - CLARE AR­ROW­SMITH Clare Ar­row­smith is the man­ag­ing phar­ma­cist at Unichem Re­mark­ables Pharmacy

Bring on win­ter! First week of June, frosts in the morn­ing and we’ve had snow fall be­fore Win­ter­Fest. Win­ter is here. But so are the colds, runny noses and flu. For many, win­ter can mean sick­ness and mis­ery.

Many peo­ple think sick­ness is the cost of a great win­ter. Peo­ple put on weight, eat more junk food, do less ex­er­cise and get sick. But what if there was a way to have your cake and still eat it? Or have your snow and still shred it?

Below are four top tips in beat­ing the germs, colds and flu this win­ter. Good nutri­tion and mod­ern medicine are the key to great re­sults.

1. Sup­ple­ments: Just like an ap­ple a day keeps the doc­tor away, nat­u­ral health sup­ple­ments (such as vi­ta­min C, zinc, echi­nacea, olive leaf ex­tract, pro­bi­otics etc), will do this and more! Pre­ven­tion is bet­ter than cure, and tak­ing an im­mune boost­ing sup­ple­ment daily will give your body strength to fight off germs, bac­te­ria and viruses that cause colds. While that ap­ple will give you vi­ta­min C, a sup­ple­ment is a high value, high dose, power-packed par­cel of good­ness de­signed to boost your abil­ity to fight off sick­ness.

2. Flu shot: Con­tro­ver­sial for some, but life sav­ing for oth­ers, the flu shot can help your body beat In­fluenza no mat­ter how healthy and fit you may be. The flu shot is in­fluenza viruses that have been con­cen­trated, in­ac­ti­vated and then bro­ken apart, so does not con­tain a live virus. This way your body can cre­ate an­ti­bod­ies in prepa­ra­tion for fight­ing off in­fluenza should you be ex­posed to it. Think of the flu shot as fu­ture proof­ing. Two weeks after the in­jec­tion you have set your­self up with pro­tec­tion against the flu be­fore it’s too late.

3. Eat well, live well: Hip­pocrates said ‘‘Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food’’ and recog­nised the value of eat­ing and liv­ing well to avoid sick­ness. The WHO rec­om­mends five por­tions of fruit or veg per day. How­ever, al­co­hol, junk food and stress are all too of­ten the nor­mal ap­petite in a Cen­tral Otago win­ter. Combine this with unin­su­lated, cramped houses and colds could spread eas­ily.

4. Trans­mis­sion pre­ven­tion: Don’t get it, don’t give it. The best way to re­duce colds this win­ter is by not pass­ing them around. Throw your tis­sues in the bin straight after use and cover your mouth when cough­ing or sneez­ing. Wash hands be­fore touch­ing food, avoid con­tact with peo­ple who have the flu and con­sider tak­ing anti-vi­ral medicine.

Your im­mune sys­tem is a pow­er­ful beast that can thrive through win­ter, but it needs some help. Be proac­tive to avoid get­ting caught up in ill­ness. Pro­tect your im­mune sys­tem with a flu shot, sup­ple­ments and pro­bi­otics. Eat well, sleep well and make the most of your health this win­ter.

Coughs and colds can be avoided, says health pro­fes­sional Claire Ar­row­smith.

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