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Weathering the cold and ‘flu season

Flu tonic

It doesn’t matter where you live in Australia - from hot, steamy Darwin to the breathtakingly cold Hobart - it’s sometimes impossible to escape catching a cold or ‘flu during the winter months.

The old saying, “prevention is better than the cure” is paramount to everything we do in life, so here are a few tips on staying healthy when everyone around you is succumbing to the dreaded lurgy!

Be good to yourself

Amazingly in this era of scientific miracles, we have still not found a cure for the common cold. The bottom line is that the cold is simply a viral illness which generally hits us when our immune system is not functioning at its optimum. Therefore, the best preventative medicine for the cold and any other virus is quite simple - eat well, get plenty of rest and exercise regularly. Sounds easy, but for many busy Australians these things are more often the exception rather than the rule. The ‘cure’ for the cold is also simple - stay in bed, keep warm and drink plenty of fluids. There are many drugs that can reduce our suffering but if we listen to our mother’s advice and just rest, we can probably save ourselves a lot of money and recover more rapidly.

Let’s go back to the prevention

If you don’t have a healthy lifestyle and it’s “all too hard”, you could consider taking supplements to make up for the vitamins and minerals lacking in your diet. As winter approaches, you could start building up your immune system with supplements such as vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, and garlic (odourless tablets make sure you don’t lose friends!). Be aware that natural remedies can affect any prescription drugs you might be taking so before you start taking anything new, always check first with your health professional.

When all else fails

There are many options available ranging from getting a ‘flu shot through to homoeopathy… it all depends on what you’re most comfortable with. Whatever you believe in will work for you, but if all else fails and you find yourself with the sniffles and feeling miserable, think of yourself first; call the boss and crawl back into bed. It may not be an easy decision to make, but everyone else will thank you for keeping your bug to yourself.


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