Winter is over and, in South Africa, it feels like we’ve skipped right over spring and into summer!

That means we’ll likely head poolside and spend more time outdoors, thankful that the dreaded winter flu season is behind us. But before you let your guard down, did you know that there’s such a thing as summer flu?

“Those horrible flu symptoms we all despise – fevers, chills, body aches and sore throats – get a second lease on life in the warmer months if we do not experience a cold-enough winter to kill the germs in the air, making us vulnerable to the summer flu,” says Brent Murphy, MPS Pharmacist and Head of R&D at Ascendis Health.

Apply these five health tips to ensure you’re catching more of the sun’s rays and not buried in bed this summer:

#1: 19 oranges worth of vitamin C in every dose

Oranges are a great source of vitamin C and have excellent skin benefits too, but you need a lot more than just one every now and then to help beat the summer flu. In fact, you’ll need to consume 19 fresh oranges daily to get your 1,000mg of vitamin C in daily (based on medium-sized oranges, which each contain approximately 53mg of vitamin C).

Adopting these quick health-hacks to your daily routine may reduce the risk of catching the summer flu. But if you don’t have time to squeeze 19 oranges each morning to get 1,000mg Vitamin C, include a vitamin C supplement into your diet.

Bettaway Mega C 1000 is an affordable vitamin C supplement that is available in a pack of 60s at national retailers including Dis-Chem.

#2: Up your hygiene game

It makes sense that, because the flu virus is contagious and can be spread pretty easily, proactive hygiene is essential to help fend off the summer flu.

Wash your hands regularly with soap and water or keep a bottle of hand sanitiser handy when you’re on the go.

Try avoiding touching your face, mouth or nose regularly throughout the day, as this makes it easier for germs to find their way into the respiratory system.

#3: Protect yourself as best you can

If you start experiencing flu-like symptoms, your safest bet is to stay home until you’re better, but hibernating in bed for days on end doesn’t always fit in with a busy lifestyle.

The best you can do to avoid catching the lurgy from other people (or spreading yours) is to keep your distance – just try not to be rude about it.

#4: An apple (every other day) won’t keep the doctor away

As with most things in life, there is no quick fix to avoid getting sick. However, adopting a balanced, healthier lifestyle year-round to build a resilient immune system help a lot.

Balance exercise and rest, and eat sufficient fresh fruit and veggies, proteins, good fats and carbs to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs to fight off viruses and keep you strong and healthy.

#5: Taking time to rest is always best

Sleep quality can directly impact your mental and physical health, which is why this so many health and wellness professionals harp on about the need to meet your nightly quota.

Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night because getting enough sleep helps maintain a good immune system.

Remember also to take time off regularly to give your mind and body a chance to recuperate.

*For full prescribing information, refer to the Professional Information approved by the Regulatory Authority.