Local naturopath Olwen Anderson.
Local naturopath Olwen Anderson.

Why you'll get a cold this winter

WHY is it so much easier to catch a cold or flu over winter? People are sniffling all over the place. Sneezing, coughing, looking tired and sick. It's the height of the cold and flu season. There are three major reasons why you are more likely to catch a cold at this time of year:

1. Giving up on your fitness training because it's too cold to go out. It's harder to be motivated to exercise on a cold morning, or in the evening when the light has disappeared and there's a real nip in the air. It feels easier to just go home, rug up and put the heater on. But germs love warm stuffy rooms, where they can move from one person to another even more easily.

Resist the urge to be immobile. Throw on lots of warm clothes and head out for a walk in the fresh air. The exercise will boost your immune system and reduce your stress levels. (Stress depresses your immune system; exercise reduces stress).

2. Eating less raw food. It's easy to focus on cooling fresh raw fruits and salads during the summer; but in winter it's tempting to eat just hot cooked food. This means you get less vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Make sure you still eat 2-3 pieces of fresh raw fruit every day. Your daily salad can become a 'warm salad': Char grill your meat or fish on a special char grill pan or your barbecue. (You can char grill thinly sliced pumpkin too.) Add the cooked meat to your salad greens and dress with lemon juice. Instant healthy meal.

3. Soldiering on regardless: One of the key ways to stop a cold or flu from developing is to make sure you rest when you're feeling a little off colour. Adequate sleep is essential for boosting your immune system, as fighting off the invading virus uses a lot of energy. If you feel a cold or flu coming on, head home and take time out. (The rest of us will appreciate you keeping your germs at home too.)

Keep up the healthy practices of exercise, good food and adequate rest, and you're sure to get through the cold and flu season successfully.



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