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Feeling run down? Here are 20 strategies to avoid colds and winter bugs

Brits have revealed their strategies for avoiding colds and other winter illnesses this year – including wiping down door handles, getting more sleep, and eating lots of spicy foods.

A study of 2,000 adults found 58 per cent think their immune system has been weakened by months of isolation due to the pandemic.

As a result, 43 per cent are going to take extra steps to better protect themselves in the hope of preventing illness this winter.

These also include continuing with the precautions of the pandemic, such as wearing a mask, using hand sanitiser and avoiding busy public spaces.

Other methods include staying in well-ventilated areas, eating immune-booting foods like oranges and spinach, and drinking plenty of water.

The study, commissioned by self-care company Perrigo UK & Ireland, to launch BecoCleanse, a solution to help protect against colds, also found 88 per cent think the prevention of catching a winter illness is important.

The study also found that the average winter illness will provoke at least three grumbles a day and wipe 65 per cent out for several days.

And 40 per cent believe that these illnesses are likely to be more common this winter than previous years.

However, 54 per cent are determined not to let winter illnesses hold them back this year, while 47 per cent are keen to make up for lost time due to the pandemic.

But 56 per cent are more likely to call in sick to work with mild illnesses than before the pandemic and 26 per cent feel less guilty about doing this now.

The study carried out via OnePoll found women are more vocal about their colds than man (21 per cent versus 18 per cent) but both are agreed men generally get worse symptoms.

And the older generation tend to put up with it, while millennials complain about cold and flu symptoms most.

However, 72 per cent of consumers don’t know what type of cough they have – and as such seek out treatments without knowing for sure if the medicine they are taking will actually alleviate their specific cough symptoms.


1.            Wearing a mask when out in public

2.            Using hand sanitiser frequently

3.            Eating immune boosting foods like oranges and spinach

4.            Staying in as much as possible

5.            Avoiding busy public areas like supermarkets

6.            Avoiding public transport

7.            Getting extra sleep

8.            Drinking lots of water

9.            Washing your hands frequently

10.          Staying warm

11.          Using nasal sanitiser frequently

12.          Taking relief medicines

13.          Wiping down door handles

14.          Eating spicy foods

15.          Ensuring you are in well-ventilated areas when indoors

16.          Eating five fruit and veg a day

17.          Doing plenty of exercise

18.          Getting the latest flu vaccine

19.          Working from home where possible

20.          Having tissues on you at all times