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Building Independence / Community Hub / Health and wellbeing

Be Winter ready.

By Jennifer Lumsden, May 16 2019

When we think of winter, often our minds turn to the dreaded thought of being sick. About 20% of people will get the flu or colds this winter, but there is still plenty to do to reduce the chances. Let’s start by building up our immune system.

What is the immune system?

The immune system consists of special cells that defend us against germs every day. Most of the time the immune system does a great job keeping us healthy and preventing infections, but sometimes problems arise. Here are some tips for building your immunity.


Exercise that makes your heart pump a little faster will strengthen your immune system. If you are already sick, the general rule of thumb is to continue to do so if the symptoms are above the neck, such as stuffy noses and sore throats. If, however, you have temperature, aches, and pains, then rest.

Eat and Sleep

• Get at least eight hours sleep a night
• Eat large quantities of fresh fruit especially citrus fruits and vegetables. No double dipping with friends as they may harbour unwanted germs.“That’s like putting your whole mouth right in the dip. From now on, when you take a chip! – just take one dip and end it!” Seinfeld.

At Work

Get a flu vaccine
If you are unwell the BEST action you can take is staying home, here are four reasons why.
• You need to rest to recover properly.
• You will spread your germs and sickness to others.
• It costs the workplace more by spreading sickness to others.
• You will work with reduced efficiency and take longer to get back to health.

If you do get sick, stop the spread

• Wash & dry your hands with warm soapy water, use hand sanitiser when out
• Stay home if unwell, and at least 24 hrs after the fever goes away
• Keep hydrated and limit sugar and alcohol intake
• Regularly clean surfaces such as your phone and keyboard
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Fun Facts

Did you know your germs could travel via a sneeze up to a distance of 8 metres? So cover your mouth fully when sneezing or coughing and wash hands especially well.
Don’t worry, be happy. It is a well-known fact that a positive attitude can boost your immune system.

Foods that build immunity

Red capsicum, garlic, ginger, citrus fruits, papaya, kiwi, almonds, spinach, yoghurt, green tea.

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