Fashion flu? That's so last month. Right now, it's all about actually being ill.
As much as we like to romanticise the season ahead (cosy knitwear, log fires and general hygge-induced smugness spring to mind), the reality is far starker: runny noses, chapped skin, a greyish pallor and sharing a desk with that person who insists on coming into the office to spread their germs. Oh, the joys of British winter.
But let's try kick it off on a more positive note, eh? You don't to get sick, and you don't even need to get a flu jab to avoid it.
Here are 5 steps you can take to foolproof yourself against the common cold...
Move over avocado. Right now, it's all about turmeric. If you haven't already tried (and pretended to love) the super-hip turmeric latte, now's the time. Curcumin, its active ingredient, has been proven to do everything from reduce inflammation and reduce pain, to regulate blood sugar and boost mood. Try making your own latte at home today by mixing a teaspoon of turmeric with boiling water to form a paste, then topping with heated almond milk and adding cinnamon and honey to sweeten.
We know: it's cold, it's dark, it's hard enough to get out of bed as it is. But try setting your alarm an hour earlier, just a couple of times a week, and get to the gym, go for a swim, or even just do a bit of YouTube yoga in your pyjamas. If that fails, try and go for a brisk walk (or even a run) at lunchtime. A 2010 study published in the British Medical Journal found that out of 1,000 participants, those who exercised were a massive 50% less likely to get a cold due to its immune-system-boosting properties.
Those who exercise are 50% less likely to get sick
See above – you can kill two birds with one stone here. Long, dark winters equal a lack of vitamin D, which can impact on everything from mood to your body's ability to absorb nutrients from food (namely vitamin C, which is key for the immune system). So try and make sure you get away from your desk for a stroll around the block, no matter how busy you are. Thirty minutes a day is all you need.
As the nights draw in it's time to nourish your body. And we mean properly nourish. Forget fad diets and eat warming foods that feed you from within: soups and stews are cheap and easy to make and packed with nutrients. Embrace ingredients like potatoes (full of immune-system-boosting vitamins C and B6), kate (vitamins A, C and K, calcium, iron and folic acid), squash (packed with potassium) and, of course, citrus fruit. Just one medium orange provides you with 100% of your daily vitamin C dose.
It may seem obvious, but the easiest way to prevent the spread of germs is to sanitise everything. Take a bottle with you everywhere, wipe down your desk, keyboard and phone daily ( if you hot desk), and after using public transport. You may not look cool doing it, but you will feel smug when you are the only one in the office who isn't ill. Happy wintering, folks.