Ais for allergies: Hayfever isn't just a summer phenomenon - seasonal allergies are just as likely in autumn. If your throat is itchy rather than sore, you sneeze a lot but don't cough much, and the mucus is clear when you blow your nose, you're better off shopping for antihistamines than cold remedies.
Bis for bacteria: American scientists researching the number of bacteria present on a group of 51 college students identified 4,742 species of bacteria overall, and when you think about all the door handles, computer keyboards and handrails we all touch every day that's not surprising. Tackle the problem by carrying a bottle of hand sanitiser in your bag, and using it periodically through the day, particularly before you eat.
C is for cleaning: Don't wait for spring to have a good clear out. You'll spend more time indoors as the weather gets worse, so creating a calm environment is important if you want to keep stress levels down. It'll also give you a chance to have a thorough clean, reducing germs and therefore your chances of getting ill.
Dis for drinking: With the nights starting earlier, it's easier to reach for a glass of wine sooner than you usually do, which could raise your alcohol consumption. And yet gloomy, dull autumn days are just the time to avoid excess alcohol, which acts as a depressant and can lower the immune system.
Eis for exercise: It may be the last thing you feel like doing as the days start to grow colder and shorter, and the weather makes outdoor options like jogging and tennis less desirable, but autumn is just the time when exercise is most important. Not only will it keep you fit, but the endorphins released will help tackle the dreaded winter blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Fis for friends: Believe it or not, seeing your friends is good for your health. Recent studies have shown that not engaging with other people - which can be tempting when hibernation mode sets in - can pose health risks similar to high blood pressure, obesity and smoking.
Gis for garlic: Not only does garlic reduce cholesterol, lower blood pressure and aid blood flow, it's also been scientifically proven to reduce the risk of catching a cold by as much as 50%. To avoid nasty breath, eat parsley after garlic, and your breath should stay sweet.
His for health spa: Say the word "spa" and you tend to think pampering facials, but a spa break could be good for you too. Not only are there plenty of rejuvenating and detoxing treatments available, plus exercise classes and healthy diet plans, but because stress can lower the immunity, even the sheer act of relaxing is good for the health.
Iis for ice: When the first frosts start, the hospitals see a rise in the number of people coming in with broken bones. Avoid a nasty fall by choosing your footwear carefully. If you do have to totter about in heels, score the base of the shoe with a knife to improve grip - and walk slowly!
J is for jab: If you're over 65, suffer from asthma or other breathing problems, or simply have a weak immune system, then do yourself a favour - get the flu jab. Yes, it may make you feel a bit grotty for a couple of days, but that's nothing to how bad you're going to feel if you don't get it and do get struck down by the flu.
Kis for kit: Now's the time to get your medical kit stocked up, so when illness does strike you don't have to trek out to the shops to get what you need. Painkillers, fluid replacement sachets, cough syrup and decongestants are all autumn essentials - and a good supply of tissues of course.
Lis for light therapy: If you're really dreading the moment the clocks turn back, knowing that the darker it gets the more depressed you'll feel, you could have Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. This is actually easier to treat that you'd think, for example with light therapy, so book an appointment with your GP to discuss the options.
Mis for mushrooms: They may not look very exciting but mushrooms can help improve the body's immunity against viruses, according to American researchers. Packed with B vitamins and a potent source of antioxidants, they're also low in fat and calories, so make sure you get plenty in your diet this autumn.
N is for nuts: A perfect alternative to salt -laden crisps, nuts are high in immune boosting protein and B vitamins, depression beating selenium, and healthy cholesterol reducing mono and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3). Just don't eat too many, or you'll notice the effects on your hips!
Ois for overheating: Wrapping up warm is all very well when you're outside, but come indoors and you'll overheat, sweat and then cool down too quickly when you go back outdoors - making you vulnerable to catching a cold. Which is why you need layers, so you'll always be the right temperature, inside and out.
Pis for protein: We've all become so fixated on getting our five fruit and veg every day, that we've forgotten the importance of proteins. These are particularly important in autumn as they help the body produce cells to support the important immune system, as well as preventing lean muscle loss during times of illness.
Qis for quitting: We all know smoking can cause cancer, but did you know it also makes you more likely to catch a cold, increases the negative symptoms when you do get a cold, and increases the risk of that cold turning into a respiratory tract infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia? Great reasons to kick the habit.
Ris for REM sleep: Sleep is vital to our health, but REM or dream sleep - which occurs in periods starting about 70 to 90 minutes after we fall asleep - is particularly important, as it is during this time that our body tissues rest and repair themselves, and our immune system does its best work.
Sis for seasonal food: Nature knows best when it comes to health, so if you really want to make sure you're getting everything your body need in terms of nutrients, buy local, seasonal foods - pumpkins, aubergines, blackberries, plums. We're getting hungry just thinking about it!
Tis for thrush: As the weather gets colder we're more likely to wear tights, leggings and other clothing that prevents air circulating around our nether regions, creating the perfect environment for thrush to develop. Reduce your risk by wearing cotton underwear, choosing loose clothing and not using perfumed soaps in that area.
Uis for umbrella: Getting caught in a rain shower is just asking to catch a chill, so make sure you're always prepared with a handbag-sized umbrella to keep you dry.
Vis for vitamins: They're all good, but particularly useful in autumn is good old vitamin C, a proven hero when it comes to reducing your chances of getting a cold. Carrots and oranges are well known sources, but others include strawberries, raw broccoli, kale, chicory and currants.
Wis for water: People have a tendency to decrease their water intake during the cooler weather, but it's vital to stay hydrated even if it's not hot any more. If cold water doesn't appeal try it hot instead, or drink decaffeinated herbal teas like the naturally sweet redbush, or ginger tea, which is known for its antiviral properties.
Xis for x-rated activity: We were very pleased to learn that a recent study at the University of Warwick has discovered that sex is more likely to make you happy than money - and happy people are healthier people. So rather than running yourself ragged at work, book yourself a night in with your other half, and indulge in a little one on one therapy.
Yis for yoga: If you've been thinking about starting a yoga class, now's the time to turn thought into action: the health benefits are many, from lowering blood pressure to increasing immunity and improving sleep.
Z is for zinc: Many enzymes in the body can only function with a "cofactor", and zinc acts as a cofactor for over 100 of them, making it vital for metabolising protein, carbohydrates, fats and alcohol. Make sure you have enough in your diet by getting a little bit of red meat and poultry in your diet or, if you're a vegetarian, chick peas, pumpkin seeds and the humble baked bean.…