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Winter has come. The days are shorter, the air is colder and our calendars are filling up with holiday plans and parties. It’s also the time of year for our two least favourite visitors to start arriving—no, not Aunt Edna and Uncle Steve—we’re talking about cold and flu.

Cold and flu season in Canada tends to arrive at some point in November and sticks around until as late as March of the following year. While some sniffles may be unavoidable, particularly if you have young children at home, there are many things you can do to safeguard yourself from getting sick. Here’s a look at six tried-and-true steps to help you survive cold and flu season:

When you become tired and run down, your immune system can weaken, leaving you more susceptible to illness.

1

Take a hands-on approach. Your hands can build, comfort, carry, and help you express yourself. Unfortunately, they can also make you sick by transmitting cold and flu germs. Regular hand washing can help stop the spread of germs, and keeping your hands away from your face can prevent cold viruses from entering your system through your eyes, nose, and mouth.

2

Support your immune system. A healthy immune system is better prepared to fight off illnesses through your body’s natural defense systems. You can support your immune system with a nutrient-rich diet and by taking a good quality vitamin C, such as Sisu Ester-C®.

3

Keep it clean. Cold and flu viruses can survive outside the body, particularly on hard surfaces such as metal, plastic, and wood. Maintaining a clean environment by regularly disinfecting household surfaces reduces the risk of infection. Don’t stop at the table and countertops—make sure to clean your keyboards, tablets and phones as well.

4

Sleep tight. This can be a hectic time of year, but it’s important not to let your sleep patterns suffer. When you become tired and run down, your immune system can weaken, leaving you more susceptible to illness. Adults should aim for seven to eight hours of sleep each night as part of a healthy lifestyle.

5

Keep your germs to yourself. Sharing is caring, except when it comes to germs. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and minimize your interactions with others. Cough or sneeze into a tissue if you have one, or into your elbow. Avoid sharing utensils, beverages and other items that may unwittingly pass your germs on to others.

6

Be prepared. Even with the best of intentions and preventions, sometimes, sick happens. Stock your kitchen with healthy, easy-to-prepare foods; keep a supply of tissues and lozenges on hand; start taking Sisu Cold & Flu Rescue with Ester-C® at the first sign of symptoms; and if you have school-aged children, arrange for a friend or neighbour to take them to and from school in your absence.

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