Last year the number of flu cases in Australia was up by over 50 per cent, causing many to claim this winter will be our worst flu season ever.
However, ‘cold and flu season’ is actually a myth, as the virus lives through every season, whether it may be summer, autumn, winter, or spring.
USANA (producer of supplements) scientist Sheila Zhou said that even without our knowledge, our immune system is fighting off different viruses and bacteria every day.
“Colds are considered a mild illness in comparison to flus because their symptoms are easier to decipher and battle,” Ms Zhou said.
“A cold will give you a runny nose, sore throat or watery eyes, while the flu won’t let you get out of bed, makes you ache from top to toe and gives you a severe headache.”
Whether you catch a cold or the flu it is important to know what we need to do to keep our bodies away from sickness. To understand how to help keep our immune system strong and healthy, Ms Zhou explained her expert tips through the acronym “ARMOUR”:
A – Always exercise regularly. This is crucial as physical activities may help release bacteria out of your lungs and airways, reducing your chances of getting a cold or flu.
R– Remember to take an immune boosting supplement. For something different, reishi and shiitake mushrooms are known to enhance immunity and have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen vitality.
M– Must get enough sleep every day. Lack of sleep can cause an impaired immune system. Sleep is one of the key factors that help keeping immune cells healthy that our body needs to fight sickness.
O– Over analysing everything will only lead to stress, so do your best to avoid it. Stress weakens the immune system and can lead to chronic conditions including diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
U– Understand the importance of getting regular medical check-ups. Visiting the doctor regularly for an annual check-up will keep you updated on the health status of your body. Medical check-ups will show what your body is lacking and help you make an informed decision to address any potential health concern.
R– Remember to eat a healthy diet filled with fruits, veggies and whole grains. Eating the right food with a balance of all essential vitamins and minerals will help keep our immune system strong and healthy.