General Practice Wellbeing & Fitness

10 Top Tips to Stop You Catching Cold and Flu this Winter

Written by Doctify

You can catch the flu all year round but it’s more likely to happen during autumn and winter. This is why people may refer to your symptoms as a “seasonal flu”.

Flu symptoms are stronger and last longer than a common cold – and we’re talking actual flu here guys, not this ‘man flu’ nonsense.

Some of the most common symptoms of flu include:

  • Headache
  • Dry, chesty cough
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • General aches and pains
  • High temperature (fever) of 38˚C (100˚F) or above

The flu can make you feel exhausted and unwell. Doctors recommend bedrest until your symptoms improve and your temperature has subsided.

Doctify have a few simple tips on how to prevent the flu this winter:

Top 10 Tips for Flu Prevention

1. Get the flu jab – this is the most effective protection you can take. The studies have shown that the flu jab can reduce your chances of catching the flu by up to 50%. As the flu virus mutates every year, doctors recommend that you get vaccinated on a yearly basis. If you fall into one of the risk categories listed below, you can get the flu jab for free on the NHS. Even if you don’t fall into one of these categories, you should consider getting the flu jab anyway to save yourself a week in bed.

Risk Categories:

  • People 65+
  • 2-4 year old children or children in primary school in years 1 or 2
  • Pregnant women
  • People with a heart condition
  • People suffering from asthma

2. Wash your hands more regularly – Don’t let the virus travel into your body by touching your eyes or mouth. You should also try to avoid touching railings, stairs or handles in public places if possible. Doing this will help you avoid some of those nasty germs around you.

3. Get at least seven hours of sleep – It’s not just beauty sleep. Sleep helps the body boost its immunity. If you seem to be catching every cold and flu that’s going around, the amount of sleep you get might be to blame. Prolonged periods of short nights can disrupt your immune system leaving you less able to fend off bugs.

4. Keep your distance – Be practical but do try and avoid getting too close to people in public spaces (e.g., in the bus, tube or at the office). Take a step back and try to avoid as much contact as possible with other people as lots of them carry flu germs or any other viruses. Temporarily pausing your “kiss-kiss-hello” ritual in winter months might also be helpful as well.

5. Reduce the booze – Alcohol has an effect on your sleep quality as your body is busy reducing the alcohol in your blood which keeps it from promoting normal cell recovery.

6. Have a tea – A hot tea with lemon and honey can be a miracle cure. By drinking tea and breathing in the steam you stimulate the cilia (the hair follicles in the nose) to push out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins the mucus, and honey is antibacterial.

7. Boost those proteins – Ensure your diet contains enough protein. Research has shown that a lower protein intake can deplete the immune system. Be sure to include plenty of good sources of protein in your diet (e.g., red meat, eggs and nuts).

8. Run it off – Exercising regularly boosts the immune system. But a sweaty gym is also a paradise for many germs. Always put your own towel on any equipment that you use and clean it with antibacterial wipes.

9. Breathe out -If someone sneezes or coughs besides you, try to take a long breathe out for a few seconds. This may keep you from inhaling the germs in the air around you.

10. Juice up your day – If you are not able to get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day, prepare fresh fruit or vegetable juice in the morning. This will help you maintain the vitamin intake you need to promote a strong immune system.



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