With winter upon us, cold and flu season is also just around the corner. So, how can you avoid falling ill this year when the annual office bug goes around or your friends and family get the sniffles?
There's no straight answer to this question. But there are a few things you can do that may help you stay healthy throughout the winter months.
Supporting your immune system
According to researchers at Harvard University, your immune system needs good, regular nourishment to help it do the job its supposed to.
With this in mind, knowing the types of food that will provide you with the nutrients you need to battle off illness is essential to staying healthy.
It’s tempting to rely on comfort foods when the weather is cold and miserable, but the NHS advises you should still be aiming to get your five-a-day in fruit and veg.
Having vegetables like carrots, parsnips and cabbage on the side is a great idea, while vegetable soup can warm you up and help you keep eating healthily.
The benefits of drinking milk
Another way to support your immune system during winter is to increase the amount of milk you drink. The Dairy Council says that milk is "one of the most nutritionally-complete foods", and is a great provider of the nutrients that are "essential to the maintenance of the human body".
It contains vitamins B12 and A, both of which help to fight fatigue and illness - which is exactly what you want when trying to avoid the latest sickness bug that's going around.
Getting a good night's sleep
According to the Sleep Council, most of us sleep an average of six-and-a-half hours per night - less than the recommended amount of between seven and nine hours.
However, experts at the organisation believe winter is the perfect time to catch up on our so-called 'sleep debt'. This is because our bodies produce more melatonin - the sleep-stimulating hormone - when the nights draw in.
Of course with extra rest, your body is in far better shape to fight off bugs and viruses, so make sure you get your head down when you need to.
Staying active in winter
Instead of lounging around in the warmth, there's no reason why you can't exercise during winter.
From taking a brisk walk to ice skating or getting a gym membership so you can work up a sweat indoors, staying active is a great way to remain healthy.
The NHS says these kind of activities can boost your immune system - exactly what you need to fend off those nasty winter bugs.
It's worth noting that even if you do follow all of these points, you can still find yourself falling ill. However, if you make an effort to stay healthy, you're giving yourself a good chance of not becoming sick over the next few months.