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Low temperature, rainy and foggy days are inherent signs of autumn. They also mean wet shoes, bedraggled clothes and hair messed by cold wind. Now it's easy to catch cold or flu. Learn about natural ways to prevent sickness: eat tasty and healthy food, sleep well, be active and enjoy the most colorful season of the year!

Autumn - a time of cold and flu

During the everyday walk you find a little, round, brown thing... A chestnut! It's a sign that autumn has finally come. Colorful leaves are falling off the trees; days are noticeably shorter and seem more rainy and foggy. The temperature is lower, too. Autumn is beautiful, but has one drawback: it's really easy to get sick then. And that's why cold and flu prevention should be important for you and your family. Many infectious diseases are spread by indirect contact, such as touching things that a sick person has used, or by direct contact, like touching or kissing with sick people. It's hard to avoid flu or cold during cold seasons, such as autumn and winter, but this doesn’t need be the unhealthiest time for you. There are some strategies you can use to help prevent sickness naturally.

Remember about hygiene

First, you should wash yourself more frequently. Most viruses are spread by touching things used by a sick person. Someone who is sick may sneeze onto his or her hand and then touch a doorknob or dishes. If you use those objects afterwards, you will pick up germs and have them on your hands. That's why it is important to wash your hands often, for at least 15 seconds. It's not necessary to use antibacterical soap as a safeguard, because it doesn't kill viruses. If you're already sick, remember to blow your nose regularly, but don't cover your sneezes with your hands, it's better to use a tissue and then throw it away.

Don't stress out! Stay relaxed to be healthy

Resting and avoiding stress is important as well. Try to sleep more to eliminate your sleep debt. Lack of sleep can have a serious effect on our immune system so it's easier for you to catch cold. Some studies show that lack of sleep causes decrease of the white blood cells. Those cells are responsible for fighting infections in the organism. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time during the week - this will help your body to regenerate. Avoid stress by relaxing and thinking about something pleasant or calming when you're in difficult situations. You can try meditation or watching a good comedy or favourite series. It's important to have strong social network and meet with your friends often - that's the best way to reduce stress and feel great and relaxed!

Go out and enjoy active free time

Bad news! Cold winter and autumn months aren't an excuse to stay in and laze around. It's vital to keep exercising during those seasons. Regular activity has a cumulative and positive effect on immune response. Try to exercise for 30-40 minutes on most days of the week. You may recover faster from sickness if you're fit and active. Take your family for a long walk, go jogging with your dog or suggest swimming in the local swimming pool with friends. Those activities can help you lose some weight and be pleased and healthy.

Eat tasty food rich with vitamins and minerals

When it's cold outside it's tempting to eat sweet and fatty things like cakes or pizza. Don't even think about it - it's important to keep your diet healthy and full of fruit and vegetables. Try to eat five portions of green food everyday. Organic food is best for you, because it comprises more vitamin and minerals than common products. Eat vitamin-C-containing vegetables like pepper, broccoli or parsley and beta-carotene-containing carrots. Cranberries are good for your bladder. Bananas and blueberries are best to soothe an upset stomach. Try to add garlic to your meals: it wards off colds, helps to open sinuses and contains antiviral, anti-fungal and antibacterical compounds. If you often feel cold, add ginger to your diet. It has a warming effect and fights rhinoviruses. You can prepare ginger tea for yourself by pouring water over fresh, shredded ginger root. Add some honey and enjoy a delicious, hot tea! Any warm drink can soothe your sore throat and suppress cough. Preventing cold and flu can be really tasty, don't you think? Eat green food and remember to include fish, poultry, wholegrain bread, nuts, and seeds in your diet and you will stay healthy for the whole autumn and winter.

Karolina Ziaja

A huge fan of dogs, good coffee and literature. Biology student on the University of Opole. Interested in combination of technology, design and care for the environment.

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