When the weather starts getting chilly, we all want to bundle up and avoid the sniffling and sneezing that comes with the flu. A real flu can lay you low for days, if not weeks, and in general, it is far better to simply avoid it.
If you have kids in the house, they are going to be exposed to all sorts of germs as they go to school and play, so make sure that your entire family knows how to prevent the flu from coming home to roost!
It seems silly to say that being healthy is a good flu preventative, but it is very true. People who have weakened immune systems are significantly more at risk than people who are operating at 100 percent. As we coast into flu season, make sure that everyone in your family is getting enough food, enough sleep and enough water.
As the weather gets colder, we need plenty of vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin B12 to stay healthy, so take a look at the foods that you are eating. Eat foods that are nutritionally dense and can provide you with the resources that you need to fight off the flu.
Encourage Hand Washing
Hand washing plays a big part in making sure that you do not spread any germs. Do you and your family know how to wash your hands properly? Start by wetting your hands and building up a good lather with an antibacterial soap.
According to the Center for Disease Control, scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Rinse the lather from your hands with warm water, and then either dry your hands or let them air dry. This can prevent the spread of germs, and it can also prevent you from getting ill yourself.
Get Your Flu Shot
The flu shot essentially gives you a very small dose of a flu virus, allowing your body to develop antibodies to fight it. This might mean that you spend a few days feeling a little tired, achy, or drowsy, but it prevents you from spending weeks flat on your back!
If you are someone who is invested in staying healthy, this is perhaps the single most important way to make sure that you are not laid low by illness in the winter. Your local pharmacist can administer the shot, though if you have any health issues or any medications that might be of concern, you should talk to your personal health care provider.
Avoid Sick People
Germs need to come from somewhere, and when we are dealing with the flu virus, that typically means that the flu comes from other people. If at all possible, keep your distance when people are sick. If someone close to you is sick, avoid kissing them or standing to close. After touching them, wash your hands.
Similarly, if you can tell that someone is coming down with something, keep away a healthy distance. Illnesses tend to be the most contagious right before they flatten someone. Furthermore, if you get sick, make sure that you stay home. If you come to the office or into the classroom, you could take everyone else down with you.
Get Some Exercise!
You know that exercise keeps you fit, but did you know that it also prevents illness? When you work out, you get your heart to pump larger quantities of blood. It helps you transfer oxygen from your lungs through your body, and it also forces you to sweat. Sweating helps you remove waste from your system, and in turn, it helps your body kill virus cells. If you are feeling dull and lethargic, see if you can stand up and get some aerobic exercise. This is the most handy type for dealing with virus-related issues.
Remember, if you want to stay healthy this cold and flu season, be vigilant. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and it is worth way more than a week spent sniffling and sneezing on the couch!