The flu is by far the worst seasonal illness that people get – it is debilitating and miserable. When you‘re sick with the flu, it feels like a truck has run over your body – you get dizzy if you stand up, you throw up, you sweat, and you ache. There is nothing fun about this illness. Here are seven tips on how to avoid the cold and flu this season.
1. Get a Flu Shot
Flu shots are one of the best ways to not get the flu. Since the flu virus changes every single year, you will need to get a shot each year in order for it to be effective. If you are over 50 or have a history of getting the flu then most doctors would say you should most certainly get a flu shot. Flu shots are inexpensive and convenient – in many cases you can go to your local pharmacy to get the vaccine on a walk in basis.
2. Washing Your Hands
During flu season it is important to wash your hands often. Many people, however, do not wash their hands properly. Antibacterial soap is best and getting the water as hot as tolerable is important. Wash your hands for as long as it takes to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Then dry your hands with a clean towel.
3. Keep Your Hands Away from Your Face
The flu is a respiratory virus. It is transmitted when you inhale droplets in the air that contain the virus. It is also spread by simply getting the virus on your skin and then touching or rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth. The less you rub your face, the less likely you are to allow it into your system.
It is always important to make sure you are getting sufficient vitamin E, A, C, and B vitamins. These help boost your immune system and fight off infection. Check with your physician about what amount is right for you. You should get an adequate amount but not too much as that can have its own detrimental effects too.
5. Don’t Smoke
Smoking paralyzes the cilia, which are the hair-like fibers that line your nose and airways. They are meant to sweep viruses and bacteria out of your body, but smoking disables this form of natural protection. Additionally, smoking puts the hands in close contact with your mouth as mentioned above.
6. Reduce Stress
Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Do all you can to minimize your stress level. See also 31 ways to Reduce Stress. The less stress you have the better your overall health will be and the less likely you will catch the flu.
7. Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol can weaken the body and your immune system along with it. During the cold winter months it’s generally best to avoid alcohol altogether or limit your drinking to special occasions and even then, just 1-2 drinks. This will help your body to be in better shape to ward off the flu virus.