5 tips to avoid the coming ‘flunami’ – from getting jabbed at the right time of day to moving more
EVERYONE has been focused on not getting Covid for so long, it's almost a surprise when other bugs start to re-enter life.
But now Brits are being hit with colds, and next on the list for a grand return is flu.
Health chiefs have warned that we could see up to 60,000 deaths this year from flu, much more than usual.
This is because we barely saw any flu cases last year as everyone was socially distancing and wearing masks.
But this winter, with restrictions out of the window, it could be quite the bug-fest, experts fear.
So, there are a number of things you can do to try and protect yourself as much as possible from flu…
This might seem obvious but it is a really key part of trying to stay one step ahead of flu.
If you are vaccinated your body is primed and ready to tackle the virus if you come across it.
Flu jabs started from September for children aged two and three, all primary school children, people aged 50 and over, pregnant women, unpaid carers, and frontline health and adult social care staff.
The NHS offers a free flu jab to those most at risk of getting the virus so if you qualify then you can get it free anywhere that offers it.
But it's also a good idea to book in for one even if you don't fall into the vulnerable categories.
At Boots it costs £15 which, if you can afford it, is potentially a small price to pay for getting really sick and missing days of work.
Get jabbed at the right time of day
You might not think it but some experts think getting vaccinated at certain points in the day can improve the efficacy.
Being jabbed in the morning is thought to be the best time.
Professor Janet Lord, professor of cell biology at the University of Birmingham, told the Telegraph: “Your immune system is very [influenced by your] circadian rhythm."
A study she carried out found that people jabbed between 9am and 11am produced more antibodies.
She added: "They work in the afternoon as well, but they just work better in the morning. We still don't fully understand why, but it does.”
It's important to know that getting your vaccine in the afternoon won't make it work any less, it just could work even better if you have it in the morning.
Eat your greens
Make sure you are eating enough fruit and vegetables to provide your body with vitamins.
Vitamin C, D and zinc have all been found to increase cold and flu fighting potential.
Experts say it is better to have regular consumption rather than sudden random large doses.
It can be hard to get enough Vitamin D in the winter so consider taking a supplement to tide you over until the sun shines more.
Sleep as much as you can
One of the best ways to prime your body to be fighting fit is with lots of good sleep.
It's been found that people who don't have a good night sleep are more susceptible to colds and infections.
It becomes easier to slink into bed at a reasonable time as the temperatures drop and the light fades.
But try to stick to decent and similar bedtimes, and ensure you are getting between 7-9 hours sleep to stay in tip top shape.
It's also one of the best ways to beat an illness if you are unlucky enough to catch one – rest, rest, rest.
Get moving and stop sitting
Sitting at a desk for hours at a time is one of the worst things for us for so many reasons.
It won't help your immunity at all. This is because immune cells are transported around the body, not in your blood.
They instead are pushed around the body in your lymph, a clear fluid.
So if you are sitting for a long time your muscles won't be pushing around the lymph as well – and they therefore won't be looking for infection to beat up.
But if you struggle to get up lots in your day don't fret – even small bursts can help.
Moving your arms once in the hours before getting a jab can improve an immune response.
And getting up and having a quick stretch inbetween work tasks will also do the job – but if you can have a walk or weave proper exercise into your day that is even better.
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