No one likes getting sick! While sometimes it seems inevitable, there are all sorts of ways to safeguard against germs and bacteria that cause the cold and flu. Washing your hands throughout the day is a great start, but there are plenty of other steps you can take to minimize your risk of contracting a cold or even worse, the flu.
Here are 7 ways to safeguard against cold and flu all year long.
1. Get Vaccinated
No one likes needles, but getting the seasonal flu vaccine is one of the best ways to protect against the virus. As soon as the yearly vaccine is available, be sure to get vaccinated so that you’re protected early. Don’t wait until peak flu season, which is often during January and February. The sooner you’re vaccinated, the less likely you are to contract the flu.
It’s worth noting that the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective. Studies have found that most seasonal vaccinations reduce the risk of contracting the flu by 40% to 60%. If you happen to get sick even after being vaccinated, your symptoms will be less severe and shorter in duration.
2. Clean Germy Areas
Obviously you want to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria, but virus-causing particles are on much more than your hands. From classrooms to the workplace, germs are in the air, on desks, tables, and in the smallest nooks and crannies.
To minimize the risk of getting sick, take the time to wipe down areas that may house germs. Common areas include:
- Computer (keyboard and mouse)
- Light switches
- TV remote
- Cell phone and other handheld devices
Using a multi-purpose cleaning product, you can eliminate germs before they spread. In turn, you minimize your exposure which lessens the risk of becoming a flu victim.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
For your overall health, you should be drinking at least 8 cups of water each day. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps your body hydrated and helps to minimize the risk of dehydrated. Not drinking enough water can leave you feeling fatigued and suffering from a nasty headache.
Staying hydrated also allows your immune system to more effectively fight off viruses. Be sure to drink tons of water but tea also counts!
4. Take Probiotics
Tamiflu may be the go-to treatment for the flu, especially since you can get Tamiflu manufacturer coupons from your doctor, but why not prevent the problem before it occurs? Probiotics are a form of good bacteria that keeps your body healthy. This form of bacteria protects against bad bacteria, including those that cause colds and the flu.
Taking probiotics regularly reduces the risk of upper respiratory infections and overall keeps you healthy. Probiotics can be taken in capsule form or you can eat foods that are high in good bacteria like yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kefir.
Exercise is for much more than achieving your fitness and body goals. Staying physically active is also beneficial in that it boosts your immune system, allowing your body to be more effective at warding off harmful bacteria and germs.
As a rule of thumb, try to be physically active at least five times a week. This includes something as simple as going for a quick jog, hiking, or even participating in a group workout class. Anything that gets your heart rate up is helpful.
6. Eat Well
A healthy diet not only keeps you feeling great, but it also strengthens your immune system. A diet that consists of mostly vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates like whole grains and sweet potatoes, will keep your body well-defended from germs, viruses, and other harmful particles.
Eating healthily is especially important during cold and flu season. Boost your immune system as much as possible for maximum protection!
7. Get Plenty of Sleep
Getting enough sleep does more than keep you feeling well-rested and able to focus. During flu season, it’s more important than ever to get the proper amount of sleep. Doctors recommend getting at least 7 hours, though 8 to 10 hours each night is even better. When you’re lacking sleep, your immune system is weakened. In turn, you’re more susceptible to germs and bacteria that can cause you to get sick.
To get the sleep you need, stick to a set sleep schedule. Have a nightly routine that allows you to wind down and relax at least an hour before bedtime. Avoiding bright screens, such as the T.V. and your cellphone can also make snoozing easier.
Coming down with a cold or the flu is never a fun experience. To minimize the risk of getting sick, be sure to keep these 7 tips in mind. By taking care of yourself and your environment, you can lessen the chance of dealing with the dreaded flu.