With cold and flu season here, we asked our pharmacists how they personally battle nasty bugs each winter. Here are some of their expert tips for keeping pains, aches, sniffles, and sneezes at bay.

Wash hands

Cold and flu germs spread through handshakes, hand-holding and handling food. Wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap to kill the germs.
By regularly washing your hands, you will remove germs to protect yourself and those you come into contact with.

Surfaces free

Germs are not only passed from person to person, but also from surface to person. Keyboards, telephones, door handles - all are surfaces that have potential for harbouring germs. If you work in a shared office space, use antiseptic wipes to clean any surfaces that are exposed to use by others.

Exercise for immunity

Not only does regular exercise do wonders for your physique but it could help prevent you getting sick. Getting you heart pumping will strengthen your heart and in turn, strengthen your immune system. Exercising in external environments will naturally boost your immune system.

Go herbal

While there is no proven results that herbal remedies can prevent or shorten the duration of a cold, they will provide the body with vitamins and minerals that is needs to fight an infection. However be sure to always check with a pharmacist before you begin any herbal medication, as it may interfere with medication that you are already on.

Try acupuncture

This ancient Chinese medical tradition uses hair-thin needles to stimulate pressure points around the body. Whilst it's commonly know to treat everything from headaches to arthritis, there are some suggestions that it may help with colds as well. There isn’t any real evidence that acupuncture relieves colds, but considering the few side effects, trying it probably can’t hurt (excuse the pun).

Beat it with meds

Doctors agree that if you're feeling awful, then you should try an over-the-counter pain reliever. Aspirins or cold and flu remedies will ease the most severe symptoms, yet doctors advise to avoid overmedicating. Advising to administered only as directed, be sure to speak with a pharmacists before you take any over-the-counter medication in conjunction with any other prescriptions.

Most of all, prevention is the key. Experts advise that staying in the best possible health year-round is the best way to avoid getting a winter bug. By ensuring you -- eat right, sleep well, exercise, and wash your hands, you'll stay in the best health.