Health and Beauty

Are there any (real) tips for not getting sick in the winter?

Grandma's recipes, good tips, recommendations… Every year, we hear many rumors about what we should or should not do to stay healthy. If you're planning to spend the Christmas holidays in good shape and not bedridden with a cold, this will probably be of interest to you. Let's sort fact from fiction together!

Misconception #1: “It's better to stay warm inside”

forged. It's cold outside, and you tell yourself that you should spend as much time as possible at home under the duvet, relaxing in front of Netflix… but that's not a good idea.

First of all, because maintaining physical activity in the winter is an excellent recommendation to avoid getting sick.

By going for a run outside in the middle of the day, you kill two birds with one stone: you strengthen your immune system and store vitamin D thanks to the sun. Additionally, staying in your home with all the windows closed is not good for your respiratory system. Remember to ventilate for half an hour daily if possible.

Misconception No. 2: “Vitamin therapy strengthens the immune system”

true and false. In fact, our body needs vitamins A, B, C and E as well as magnesium to stay healthy and deal with minor winter ailments.

However, it is not necessarily beneficial to rush to nutritional supplements sold in pharmacies. A balanced diet with plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables is the best way to provide all the vitamins your body needs.

Misconception #3: “Drinking hot drinks helps you avoid catching colds.”

forged. A little hot chocolate? frog? You should drink iced tea instead. Drinking a hot drink provides a pleasant warming sensation, it's true.

However, this causes your body temperature to rise and therefore causes your body to make an effort to “cool down”… If you drink a cold drink, the opposite effect occurs and your body naturally warms.

Also thanks to this logic, Bedouins drink hot tea to adapt to the desert climate. In addition, it is recommended to consume less mulled wine and hot beverages than other hot beverages, because alcohol naturally contributes to lowering body temperature.

Misconception #4: “You need to wash your hands regularly to fight viruses”

TRUE. We hear it every year during traditional anti-flu campaigns: You should wash your hands several times a day with soap or a hydro-alcoholic solution, especially before meals. Even if it bothers you, it's still a very good thing to do.

This simple measure helps prevent the majority of viruses, especially if you spend time with a lot of people who are likely to get sick, for example at work. Think of all those hands you're shaking…

Misconception #5: “Fat intake is important in winter”

forged. Raclette, tartiflette, churro: winter offers so many delicious treats! We often feel guilty about eating fatty foods when we say to ourselves: “After all, it's cold, you need to fuel your body.”

As you might expect, this is a false excuse. You need to eat a balanced diet all year round, but even more so in the winter. An unbalanced diet weakens the body, making it more susceptible to viruses. Of course, this doesn't mean you can't treat yourself from time to time.

Misconception #6: “Stress increases the risk of disease.”

TRUE. Preparing for the end of the year celebrations is not only a source of fun, but also a source of stress. However, feeling stressed and anxious can cause you double trouble by increasing your chances of getting sick.

Although easier said than done, you can relax to allow your immune system to function properly!

Basic tips

Winter is a favorable period for the spread of epidemics of influenza, gastroenteritis and colds. To effectively protect yourself against these winter viruses and reduce the risk of contamination, it is necessary to adopt simple hygiene measures, known as barrier gestures.

This section will detail these measures, from regular hand washing to frequent disinfection of surfaces touched by many people. The importance of following a healthy lifestyle will also be emphasized, including a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and restful sleep. Finally, he will discuss the importance of influenza vaccination, a simple but essential measure to protect yourself and others during the winter.

Apply barrier gestures

Barrier gestures are simple hygiene measures that help limit the spread of viruses responsible for infectious diseases. In winter, a period favorable for the spread of epidemics of influenza, gastroenteritis and colds, it is necessary to apply it carefully.

First of all, washing hands regularly is essential. It is recommended to wash hands several times a day with soap and water, for 30 seconds, paying special attention to the spaces between the fingers and under the nails where germs are present. If soap and water are not available, using a hydro-alcoholic solution is a good alternative, as long as you scrub your hands until they are dry.

It is also necessary to cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands. In fact, coughing and sneezing transmit small contaminated droplets that settle on the hands and then contaminate infected surfaces. Flexing the elbow helps limit the spread of viruses.

Wearing a mask is one of the behaviors that must be adopted, especially on public transportation and closed public places. When applied correctly to the nose and mouth, the mask prevents virus-laden droplets from falling. It must be changed regularly, at least every 4 hours.

Finally, it's important to disinfect surfaces that many people touch frequently, such as doorknobs, light switches, stair railings, computer keyboards, and cell phones. The use of disinfectant wipes or antiviral products eliminates the microbes that settle there.

By strictly applying all these insulation measures on a daily basis, it is possible to effectively protect yourself from winter viruses and reduce the risk of contamination. A little hygiene effort can make a big difference!

Enjoy a healthy lifestyle

Do physical activity regularly, 30 to 60 minutes daily. Exercise helps stimulate blood circulation, eliminate toxins, and secrete endorphins, which improve the mood.

Sleep well, at least 7 to 8 hours per night. Restorative sleep allows the body to rejuvenate and fight inflammation. It is recommended to adopt regular sleep and wake times to respect your biological rhythm.

Follow a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, omega-3, iron and zinc. Seasonal foods provide many vitamins. It is recommended to reduce processed foods, sugar and alcohol, which harm immunity. Eat fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, or kombucha, which contain probiotics that are beneficial to the gut microbiome.

Drink a sufficient amount of water, 1.5 to 2 liters per day, to moisturize the mucous membranes and facilitate the elimination of toxins. Hot water with lemon in the morning helps drain the body.

Ventilate your home for at least 10 minutes a day to freshen the indoor air. Humidity and pollution encourage the spread of viruses.

By adopting these reflexes over the long term, it is possible to strengthen your natural defenses and get through the winter great! A healthy lifestyle is an essential foundation for staying healthy.

Get vaccinated against influenza

Getting vaccinated against influenza is a simple but essential measure to protect yourself and others during the winter.

Influenza is not a mild illness. It is responsible every year for several thousand deaths in France, especially among vulnerable people. The virus is constantly mutating, making it necessary to conduct a new vaccination adapted to the dominant strain.

The flu vaccine does not completely prevent infection, but it greatly reduces the risk of serious complications. Stimulates the immune system to effectively fight the virus.

Influenza vaccination is recommended for people at risk: people over 65 years of age, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, and obese people. It's also for those around those vulnerable people. By vaccinating, we protect them.

The vaccine is available from October to doctors, nurses, midwives and even pharmacies for adults.

Are there any (real) tips for not getting sick in the winter?

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