Become a Flu Fighter this winter

Friendly Society Pharmacist Jason Vizgoft shares some great tips to stay healthy this winter.

Winter is often given a bad name as it often brings with it the dreaded cold and flu season with snuffling noses, headaches, coughs, aches and pains – and that’s just to name a few of the symptoms.

With its cold dark mornings, there is a tendency to stay indoors where it is warm, becoming less active and eating more high-fat comfort foods during the winter.

However with a little effort there is no reason for our health to suffer during the colder months. At The Friendlies, we make it a priority to keep our customers at their best during the winter.

Here are our top tips from our friendly pharmacists to ensure that you keep yourself and your family just as healthy, happy and active in the winter as you are during the summer.

1. Flu Vaccination

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is an extremely contagious infection that is more serious than the common cold.

Annual vaccination against the flu can reduce your chances of getting the flu and can also reduce the severity of flu symptoms if you do catch the virus.

Did you know at The Friendlies we have qualified pharmacists who can give you your flu vaccine in the pharmacy – no appointments required.

2. Healthy Eating and Active Living

As winter sets in, it can be tempting to eat more of those warm comfort foods that are often high in fat, salt and sugar.

However eating nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables can help your immune system strong.

It’s also important to hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of water.

In summer, the hot weather reminds us that we are thirsty and it’s easy to neglect hydration when it is colder because we think our body doesn’t need any more water.

Keeping your body well hydrated will help ward off those winter bugs.

3. Cover Your Cough

When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth and make sure you dispose of the tissue afterwards.

If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow.

4. Wash Your Hands

Hand washing is the single most effective way to reduce the spread of germs during the winter.

After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, wash your hands with soap and water.

Use alcohol-based hand cleansers as an effective alternative if you do not have access to soap and water.

5. Sleeping Well

Proper sleep (about eight hours for an adult) can help keep the body’s immune system healthy and fight off colds.

Avoid alcohol, caffeine and cigarettes as these substances can affect the quality of your sleep.

Relaxation techniques and regular exercise may also promote improved sleep.

6. Medication

Common cold and flu medications can help alleviate symptoms of the cold and flu (headache, runny nose, aches and pains, congestion, cough).

It is important to check the active ingredients on your medications and be careful you don’t double dose as many cold and flu medications contain Paracetamol as an active ingredient.

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