Getting a cold or the flu can really put a damper on your plans. So, if you can’t afford to get sick during the fall or winter months, learn how you can help prevent colds and the flu with these daily tips.
Wash your hands often
Cold and flu can be spread easily by shaking hands or having contact with surfaces that other people touch regularly. Think doorknobs, faucets and toilet handles for starters.
So, make sure to wash your hands often during cold and flu season. For the best protection from germs, soap your hands and wash them under warm water for about 20 seconds or longer. Because viruses spread easily on wet surfaces, make sure to dry your hands thoroughly as well. Using hand sanitizer is also an option in situations when you are unable to wash your hands.
It’s easy to stay active when the weather’s warm, but it’s even more important in the fall and winter. Research shows that regular exercise helps boost your immune system.
If you’re looking for fun ways to exercise in the cooler months, consider these ideas:
- Bundle up and go for a brisk walk or a hike.
- Get a gym membership.
- Go ice skating.
- Invest in a treadmill or exercise bike.
- Take a dance class.
There’s nothing like a restful night’s sleep for good health in general.
To make sure you’re getting enough Zs, follow these tips:
- Don’t eat food or drink beverages late at night.
- Make sure your bedroom is clean, quiet and relaxing.
- Set your thermostat between 66 and 70 degrees for sleeping.
- Try taking a warm bath or shower about 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Watch how much caffeine you have in the afternoon.
A hydrated body is a healthy body, especially when it comes to your immune system. Plus, shivering during the colder months can cause dehydration just like sweating can during the summer months. So, make sure you are staying on top of your water consumption every day.
Keep your gut healthy
Did you know that roughly 80 percent of the immune cells in the human body can be found in the gut? When your gut is in tip-top shape, it’s harder for viruses and bacteria to grow. So, make sure you are eating foods with probiotics this flu season. Some of these foods include yogurt, pickles and some types of cheeses.
And most important of all, make sure you get your flu shot this year! The flu vaccine helps keep you and your loved ones safe from getting severely sick from influenza.
Have questions or concerns about the flu shot? Find a Bon Secours primary care provider near you.