Flu season is just around the corner, and not only does getting sick feel terrible, it can cost you a lot of money. Cold medicine, lost wages and lack of productivity are just a few ways that getting sick can lighten your wallet. it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of simple steps that you can take to lessen the chance of getting the flu which ultimately will be a wonderful treat to your bank account:
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands should be a no brainer. It’s considered common knowledge that washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid germs. Naturally, washing your hands on a frequent basis – after you shake someone’s hand, after using public transportation, after handling money – will help keep germs away.
Get Enough Rest
Are you exhausted all the time and can’t figure out why your body still feels sluggish even after a full night of sleep? Well, one of the quickest ways to catch a cold is by not receiving enough rest. When your body is exhausted, your immune system isn’t working to fight off incoming diseases. Most people don’t get enough sleep during a normal night, so make sure you actually get between 8 to 10 hours.
Don’t Touch Your Face
Surprisingly, touching your mouth, nose, or eyes could be one of the reasons why you frequently get sick. Some people have a bad habit of touching their face without realizing it, but this can cause germs to spread. These areas of your face are the most common places for germ infestation, so avoid touching your face and hopefully that will help you avoid catching a cold.
Eat Vitamins C and E
Eating healthy is another great way to avoid catching a cold. Of course, you’ve probably heard that consuming a lot of vitamin C – usually found in citrus fruit – is a great way to ward off colds. But consuming vitamin E, which is found in foods such as almonds, sunflower seeds, or peanut butter, is another great way to ward off impending colds. Keeping a healthy diet will help your immune system stay strong and will protect your body from germs.
Don’t Share Food
Sharing food is one of the most common ways to catch someone else’s cold. People carry so many germs and not everyone is good about washing their hands. For instance, what if someone coughed or sneezed into their hand, forgot to wash, and then went to grab a handful of chips or candy? Or what if they shook your hand? Now those germs are all over you, raising your chance of catching their cold. Sharing food is always a tricky situation, but it’s best to try to avoid doing so around flu season.
It’s important to stay hydrated all year long, but it’s especially important if you think you might be in danger of catching a cold. Consuming a lot of water helps keep your body healthy and strong, allowing it to fight off germs. Water has also been known to improve the immune system, and a healthy immune system means less of a chance of catching a cold.
Many people groan at the thought of exercising, but if you’re worried about getting sick this flu season, you might want to reconsider exercising. Exercising obviously keeps you healthy, but, as with many other things on this list, it also boosts your immune system. You want to do everything you can to keep your body ready to fight germs. Even if exercising is walking for 30 minutes a day, it’ll work toward keeping your body strong.
Probiotics might not seem entirely appetizing, especially since they’re bacteria found in certain foods. However, probiotics are healthy bacteria found in such things as yogurt, pickles, or supplements. They work toward improving your digestion and can help prevent upper respiratory infections. If you don’t currently eat foods with probiotics, consider adding one or two need foods to your diet this coming flu season.
While cold germs easily pass from person to person, they can also be found on inanimate objects such as desks, kitchen surfaces, computer keyboards, phones, or other devices. Think of all the items you use on a daily basis that someone else has touched. Carry around some sanitary wipes or hand sanitizer and make a habit of cleaning off the objects you use. You might end up being seen as a germaphobe, but better safe than sorry!
Avoid Smoking or Drinking
This might be difficult for people who smoke or drink socially. But smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol will have a negative effect on your immune system and will make you more perceptible to colds. If you do decide to indulge, definitely stop smoking or drinking for a few days if you start to feel as if you might be coming down with a cold.
Do you have any other tips that help you stay healthy through the flu season?
(Photo courtesy of Svenstorm)