Like an unwanted guest, the flu season comes knocking on our door every winter. While there’s no way to completely guard against the pesky visitor, there are several steps you can take to lessen your odds of coming down with the dreaded flu.
Here are a few tips to help you stay healthy:
Wash Your Hands Frequently
It’s a simple step but one that is easily forgotten. Everyone knows you should wash your hands after using the restroom and before you eat but you should also take care to soap up after visiting places that lots of people go, like the grocery store or library. You never know who touched the cart or books before you or what germs they may be carrying. It should go without saying but if you’re around someone who is sick, you should wash your hands immediately after visiting too.
Learn How to Wash Your Hands
Perhaps as important as washing your hands is learning the most effective way to kill the germs. Be sure to wash all areas of your hands, including between your fingers, under the edges of your nails and the back of your hands, for at least 20 seconds with warm water.
Carry Hand Sanitizer for On-the-Go
If you can’t wash your hands with soap and water, a hand sanitizer with alcohol can be used as a substitute too. Consider adding one to your purse, backpack, car, desk and any other handy location.
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
This is especially true if you’re in a public place and haven’t washed your hands recently. Most germs enter your body through your nose and mouth so avoid touching your face until after you’ve washed.
Sanitize Your Surroundings
Carry sanitary wipes with you and wipe down commonly touched things, like doorknobs and light switches, at home or in the office. You can also use them to sanitize shopping cart handles too.
Keep Your Distance
During the flu season, you should take extra precautions to avoid spreading germs. Limit your contact with other people by not shaking hands and keeping your distance in social situations. A distance of three feet will help you avoid any potential germs flying your way from an unexpected sneeze or cough.
Avoid Sharing With Friends
Despite what you may have learned in kindergarten, sharing is not always caring. Your friend may look healthy now but the flu can sneak up on you. Avoid sharing food, drinks or personal care items, like chapstick, to minimize your chances of sharing germs.
Get Enough Sleep
Aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night to give your body enough time to repair itself and stay in top working order.
Make Healthy Food Choices
Foods rich in Vitamin C and E are widely considered to support the immune system, which helps keep you healthy. Load up on citrus and broccoli for a Vitamin C boost and choose sunflower seeds or almonds for extra Vitamin E. Getting enough protein is also important as it aids in the production of immune cells and fights infections. Add eggs, beans, nuts and tofu to your meals to increase your protein levels. And don’t forget to make health eating choices at work.
Regular exercise offers many benefits that can help you ward off the flu. From lowering stress levels to boosting your immune system, getting active is an easy way to stay healthy throughout the year and avoiding the downfalls of the flu season.
Avoid People Who Are Sick
Encourage your friends and co-workers to stay home if they’re feeling under the weather. Not only will they feel better faster if they get enough rest but they’ll also avoid spreading the flu and other illnesses. Sounds like a win-win, right?
Staying Healthy During the Flu Season
By following these guidelines, hopefully you’ll be able to avoid the flu season and other pesky illnesses this year. There’s never a guarantee but anything you can do to lower your chances of getting sick can help you stay healthy, happy and productive.