Winter is such a beautiful season, but for many of us it’s often marred by sniffles, head colds, sore throats or full blow flu. With over 200 known common cold viruses, nobody can be completely sure of not catching a cold, but there are certain things each sign can do to help minimize the risk – and to feel better faster if you do find yourself ill.
Aries (March 20th - April 19th)
Being ill slows Aries down, and if there’s one thing you can’t stand, it’s slowing down! Being in such a hurry all the time does mean that you’re more prone than some other signs to germ exposure, though – it takes time to wash your hands regularly, and that’s time you don’t always take. For Aries, paying more attention to basic hygiene is a major step towards reducing the risk of colds and flu. It really is that simple! Your diet can be helpful too, especially since you love strongly flavored foods. Garlic is believed to be very helpful in keeping colds at bay, so add liberal amounts to your cooking.
Taurus (April 20th - May 20th)
As an earth sign, comfort is extremely important to you, so you suffer more than most when colds and flu get you down. Taurus rules the throat, so you’re especially vulnerable to strep throat and other nasties in that area. Probably the biggest change you could make to help avoid colds and flu is to exercise more. Yes, it’s cold and wet outside, but did you know that regular moderate exercise will boost your metabolism and increase the number of natural killer cells in your immune system. When you exercise, the level of these important cells rises, and stays risen for 36 hours – so keep moving, Taurus, to keep infections away.
Gemini (May 21st - June 20th)
Sociable Gemini loves to be around people – but with colds and flu being so infectious, the more people you are around, the greater your chance of catching something you’d rather not have. You don’t have to lock yourself away, but do try to avoid chatting with strangers who are obviously ill. Gemini often doesn’t sleep too well, since your busy mind is always on the go, but getting plenty of rest is a key factor in helping you to stay healthy. Try to avoid late nights and burnout this winter if you want a strong immune system. Getting plenty of sleep puts you in a much stronger position it comes to avoiding illness.
Cancer (June 21st - July 21st)
As a Cancer, you worry a lot about your health – let’s face it, you worry a lot about almost everything. Ironically, it’s your stress levels which put you most at risk of catching a cold or flu. Because you’re constantly run down and under emotional strain, your body rarely gets a chance to be as healthy as it can be. Moods affect our ability to fight infections, so if you’re feeling down you’re more likely to be hit and will find it harder to shake off a cold once you have one too. A major change you can make to help avoid colds and flu winter is to try meditation to help calm your mind – and do more of what makes you happy.
Leo (July 22nd - August 21st)
Your warm and sunny personality is obvious to all who know you – what’s less obvious, perhaps, is that warmth can be the key to avoiding colds and flu too. Of course it’s not true that being cold makes you catch a cold, but it is true that shivering compromises our immune systems, and that disrupted levels of melatonin and serotonin, caused by the lack of sunlight, play their part too in making us more susceptible to infection. You’re the sign most likely to suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, which also increases the risk of colds and flu. Wrap up warm to keep yourself as healthy as possible, but try to avoid overheated rooms and overcrowded places where germs spread more easily.
Virgo (August 22nd - September 21st)
Virgos are typically very health conscious, and scrupulous about hygiene. Unfortunately, of course, this doesn’t exempt you from catching colds and flu along with the rest of us. You’re very interested in alternative health, so herbal preventative measures such as Echinacea tea are perfect for you. Investigate homeopathic remedies too, to help you nip a cold in the bud before it takes hold. Vitamin C is said to help prevent colds and flu, so make sure you eat well and include plenty of citrus fruits, red peppers and leafy green vegetables. For you, it’s all about natural prevention and cure and you’ll shy away from anything too medicinal.
Libra (September 22nd - October 22nd)
A combination of not enough sleep, not enough exercise and too much stress can be deeply unfortunate for Libra, and your immune system is under a lot of pressure during winter. In order to help combat the sleep and stress issues, investigate acupuncture – there is some evidence that regular acupuncture helps to lower susceptibility to colds and flu, and you’ll enjoy the experience too. A healthy diet is very important for Libra at all times, but especially during the winter, so make sure you eat well and incorporate probiotics into your daily regime too – studies have shown that these “friendly bacteria” can improve the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections.
Scorpio (October 23rd - November 21st)
Scorpio is a strong and feisty sign, but not even you can keep germs at bay throughout the winter. Although your passionate, deep nature keeps the atmosphere around you charged, one thing that does increase your risk of colds and flu is a very dry environment. You do love to stay warm, and you typically have your heating cranked up high – but this dries out the protective mucus in our nasal passages, lowering our defenses and adversely affecting your respiratory system. Try turning the heating down and wearing extra layers instead, or invest in a humidifier. Failing that, bowls of water near heaters will help to keep the air you breathe moist.
Sagittarius (November 22nd - December 20th)
Since you love the outdoors so much, you’re frequently wet and muddy during the winter. This won’t make you catch a cold, of course, but if you’re already harboring a cold virus, it will make the effects worse and you may take longer to recover. The solution is not to give up your active lifestyle – far from it – but to take sensible precautions and to warm up as soon as you can. Don’t be a hero – if you start to feel unwell, don’t just ignore it, but take care of yourself. Try taking zinc supplements to help keep a cold at bay – if you do succumb, there’s some evidence that zinc lozenges can help to shorten the misery and speed recovery too.
Capricorn (December 21st - January 18th)
The biggest annoyance for you when you get a cold is that it stops you working – you have a very down to earth approach to health, however, and will try to plough on regardless. You don’t have a great deal of patience with alternative therapies and herbal remedies, and you don’t have a lot of faith in your ability to avoid a cold either. Your approach is more to just buy an over the county remedy once a cold strikes and then get on with it. Fair enough, but increasing the amount of sleep you get and trying some moderate exercise will help you keep germs at bay without having to drink any weird teas or do anything which takes you out of your comfort zone.
Aquarius (January 19th - February 17th)
As an Aquarius, you’re deeply mistrustful of the healthcare industry, and you probably try to avoid the medical profession as much as possible – no flu shots for you. Instead, you like to try an eclectic mixture of herbal preventions, vitamin supplements, garlic and a healthy diet, while crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. It’s surprisingly effective, when coupled with some good hygiene and lots of hand washing, but do take care not to get too cold this winter. When you’re cold, you’re miserable, and when you’re miserable, you’re vulnerable. A positive attitude, some warm and cosy clothes and a blend of preventative measures should keep the worst of the winter illnesses away.
Pisces (February 18th - March 19th)
You have a low drug tolerance, Pisces, and can be adversely affected by both flu shots and over the counter medicines, so it’s important to you to try to avoid colds and flu without resorting to medical help. One very simple thing you can do to help, especially being a water sign, is to drink more water. Your mucus membranes don’t work as efficiently as they should if you are dehydrated. Another change you can make is to take up Qigong – a University of Virginia study found that this Chinese exercise system can help regulate breathing and prevent respiratory infections; plus, you’ll just love it!