When it’s cold and flu season, it seems no one is safe from the coughing, sneezing, running noses or fevers that infiltrate schools, workplaces and the public in general. No matter how tough your immune system is, you almost cannot get through the winter without catching something.
Many people strive to avoid catching anything at all. The approach is good, but make sure you are taking all steps to reduce your chances of getting sick this winter season.
1. Wash your hands
If you are not in the habit of washing your hands constantly through the cold and flu season, then you are in big trouble. Hand washing and hand sanitizing is a huge step in fighting off bacterial and viral infections.
Be cognizant of how you wash your hands as well. Those nasty cold and flu bugs are transmitted by droplets flying onto surfaces and skin from sneezing, coughing, talking and touching contaminated surfaces. It is best to wash your hands often and with a good scrubbing. Be sure to use warm water, antibacterial soap, and wash for at least 15-20 seconds minimum.
Don’t forget, bacteria loves to hide under your fingernails. Give them a good washing too.
Contrary to popular belief, the cold air does not make you sick. Therefore, get outside and get moving! Studies have shown that people who exercise routinely are less likely to sick often.
If you have a regular exercise routine, stick to it. If you are new to the gym, don’t be afraid. Most gyms offer at least one free personal training session. You can find out what will work for you and your goals. If you need to stick to walking or running outside, that is perfectly fine too.
3. Eat to fight the sickness
When you treat your body as a temple, it will work to your advantage. Part of treating your body like a temple is feeding it with healthy, nutritious food. There’s really no substitutes for whole foods like fruits and vegetables.
You immune system gets boost from vitamins and minerals that are more readily used in fresh fruits and veggies. Many people do take a daily multivitamin and while that is good to do, it will not completely replaces those fruits and veggies.
Cold and flu season is not a time to stay up late or party all night long. Your body needs rest to heal and be ready for whatever bugs come your way. Your body needs an absolute minimum of 7 hours of solid rest each night. Going below 7 hours can really hurt your body and immune system.
5. Drink your water
Staying hydrated is also important this time of the year. Steer clear of the sugary soda drinks and energy drinks. They will do nothing to help your immune system. Many surfaces of your body like your eyes, mouth, nose, lungs and intestines us a watery solution as a layer of protection. If you are dehydrated, these surface also dry out and leave your body vulnerable to foreign invaders.
6. Sanitize surfaces
Keeping your body healthy is just as important as keeping your environment healthy. This means sanitizing surfaces, especially those used constantly. Consider wiping down counter tops, door handles, light switches, refrigerator doors, cell phones and computers. Contact time is important here, so if you can spray a sanitizer and leave it sitting for a few minutes, that is ideal.
7. Strive to be stress free
Undoubtedly ours lives are full of stress. Trying to lessen stress can be stressful in and of itself. Consider dropping an extra activity that is just taking up too much time or trying to fit in a yoga class to take your mind off your job. People cope with stress in many different ways, but if you can find a way to lessen the burden, then you are sure to give your immune system a fighting chance.
8. Cut your fingernails
Washing your hands is super important, but germs and bugs love to hide under your nails. Washing and scrubbing them is a very good idea. However, if your nails are getting long anyways, it is best just to cut them. Prevent germs from finding that nice little hiding place and give yourself a cute little manicure while you’re at it!
9. Other Preventive measures
Trying to keep your body and immune system in tip top shape can be overwhelming. However, in addition to the aforementioned options, you can also do other things to prevent or limit the cold season bugs and germs.
- Elderberry Syrup: taking a daily dose of elderberry syrup has some people convinced it helps them prevent or lessen a cold or the flu.
- Flu shot: professionals urge everyone to get your flu shots each cold and flu season.
- Take vitamin D: reports suggest that many people fall short of their daily vitamin D intake.
Nobody enjoys being sick with a cold or the flu. It is very depleting and causing many interruptions to your normal routine. Your best bet to staying healthy this season is to be kind to your body. You need to eat the right foods, get enough sleep and try not to stress out over holidays or big events.