With cold and flu season upon us, it’s a good idea to remember some of the most important tips and tricks that can help you stay healthy throughout the season. Here’s our simple guide that will show you everything you need to know in order to be ready for this year’s cold and flu season:
Invest in the Flu Vaccine
Anyone who is looking to avoid the likelihood of catching the flu this season would be wise to get a flu vaccine shot. The flu vaccine has been shown time and time again to reduce the likelihood of someone getting ill with the influenza virus. Furthermore, getting your flu shot can be done quite easily and quite affordably. Not sure how to get your flu this shot this season? Try reaching out and speaking to your primary care physician or contact your health insurance provider to see how you can get a flu shot that is covered by your health insurance plan. Most plans have quite a generous policy when it comes to covering the costs of popular seasonal vaccinations such as the flu shot.
While getting a flu shot will certainly lower your risk for contracting the influenza virus, it cannot protect all people at all times. For example, people at a higher risk of getting a more severe case of the flu include children up through the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65. Chances are often higher with these populations because they tend to have weaker immune systems, or in the case of children, they have an immune system that is not robust enough to deal with the complications that come along with the flu. In any case, it’s wise to take the time to invest in getting all your shots this season if you want to avoid getting the flu.
Maintain Cleanliness Both at Work and at Home
Employees in a clean office have an 80% reduced probability of catching the common cold and influenza. Cleanliness is one of the key factors for limiting exposure to potentially harmful bacteria and other contaminants in your everyday environment. While cleaning your objects and workspace is important, it’s also important to be mindful of your hands and your hygiene. For example, wash your hands thoroughly and do not touch your face or eyes with your hands, as this can transfer harmful bacteria into your body. Make sure to keep your furniture clean, as well. To clean leather, just use a conditioner every 6-12 months and wipe up spills as they occur with a clean cloth.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is essential for anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough sleep each night ensures that your body can construct an immune system that has the capacity to fight off the kinds of bugs that often crop up throughout the cold and flu season. In fact, people who get less than 7 hours of sleep are three times more likely to develop conditions associated with weak immunity such as a cold.
If you’re having trouble getting enough sleep, try investing in blackout shades to block out any unnecessary light. Putting in earplugs or using an ambient noise machine can also help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Sticking to a regular sleep routine will also lead to better results and improved overall health.
Ensure that You’re Getting Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
Of course, you cannot overlook the important role that your diet plays when it comes to staying healthy. When your body gets vital vitamins and nutrients through the food you eat, then it is far more prepared to have the necessary resources required to fend off the cold and flu.
Mexican cuisines can combine delecious (and healthy) foods of the southwest U.S. to form both Cal-Mex and Tex-Mex cuisine. Opt for whole foods over processed foods. Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit each and every day. Try to avoid refined sugars and overly salty foods, as these contribute to decreased energy levels and a potentially compromised immune system. By putting the right nutrients into your body, you will not only look and feel better, but you will also decrease your odds of getting sick.
Don’t Slack on Exercise
Even though most people know that getting regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, they still manage to neglect it. With an exercise routine, you give your body the chance to both build up its strength to fight off the cold and other viruses and to recover in the event of illness. Getting regular exercise is all about finding a routine that works for your schedule, habits, and lifestyle. If you dread the thought of running on a treadmill, then switch it up and go swimming with a friend.
Keep Up on Hydration
It is hard to find an ailment that is not helped by getting adequate hydration. Drinking enough water each day helps your system cleanse itself of any toxins or bacteria that could potentially lead to illness. Furthermore, staying hydrated helps to keep your sinuses and respiratory system functioning in a healthy manner if you do happen to catch a cold. There are many more health benefits to drinking water, and anyone looking to avoid the common cold or the flu this year should be sure to stay hydrated.
If You Do Get Sick, Isolate Yourself
Despite your best intentions and most diligent efforts, sometimes it is simply impossible to avoid catching a cold or getting the flu. However, if you do fall sick, the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and your community is to stay home. Going out in public will only slow down your recovery process and as an added liability, you also risk spreading your illness out into your local community, getting more people sick and thus lowering your chances of staying healthy for the rest of the cold season.
Resting at home is your best path to recovery when you’re feeling sick. Not sure what to do with yourself? Staying home when you’re sick provides an excellent opportunity to catch up on television shows or movies that you’ve been meaning to watch. Even if you’re not feeling well, sometimes it is rejuvenating to stay at home for a few days in order to recharge your batteries and give your body the space it needs to recover fully.
Avoiding the cold and flu can be a challenging thing to do in today’s world, however when you stay consistent and follow these simple tips, you give yourself the best chance of staying healthy and happy throughout this cold and flu season!