Bleurgh… it’s happening. First it was the muffled sniffs and tickly throats, then came the choruses of sneezing - and now, well, the bh offices are on the brink of a change-of-season sickness spurt.

And we’re not alone. A recent Newspoll survey commissioned by natural health supplements company Wagner shows women are on the front line when it comes to succumbing to the dreaded winter cold and flu symptoms.

Women feel they are more at risk of catching a cold from a sick person at home, with more than 70 per cent of mums experiencing a child sneezing in very close proximity to them! Add to this the stresses of daily life and the not-so-hygienic habits of some members of the public (85 per cent of Aussies have witnessed people who do not use tissues to wipe their noses – yuck!), and it can be tricky to avoid getting sick at this time of year.

But help is at hand, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of staying healthy this winter (even if those around you home or at work are bunged-up and red-nosed). Read our top tips for boosting your immunity – and try to stave off cold and flu symptoms before they arrive.

1) Take time out to de-stress your life

Being overworked and run-down can suppress your immune system, making you more susceptible to the winter bugs doing the rounds.

2) Make cleanliness your mantra

Wash your hands often, particularly if you’re caring for a sick child or many of the people around you have colds or flu.

Product picks: Dettol Healthy Touch Moisture Liquid Hand Wash, Radox Hand Sanitizers

3) Eat yourself healthy

Now’s the time to go crazy filling up on the fresh fruit and veg. You could also try taking supplements such as vitamin C, zinc or garlic extract, which help boost immunity and ward off winter nasties.

Product picks: Wagner Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract ( 1800 888 964 |, Nature’s Own vitamin C + Rosehips

4) Get plenty of sleep

A rested body is a healthy body, right? Plus, there’s nothing nicer on a chilly winter evening than cosying up for a delightful early night.

Related articles on bh:

- How to keep your hands clean while you're on the go

- Quiz: how cold and flu-prone are you?



What are your tips for beating colds and flu? Have you witnessed any too-public sneezing outbursts?