You hear the sneezing, coughing and wheezing all around you. It’s here – cold and flu season. It’s easy to fall victim. The holiday season is filled with long days and nights, holiday parties, family get – togethers, last minute shopping and being around a lot more people than usual. How can you ensure that you stay your healthiest and come out of the season unscathed? Here are a few bulletproof ways to protect yourself:
Get enough rest- Sleeping is what allows your body to repair itself and form solid defenses against germs. Even if your schedule is hectic, try to always make enough time to sleep more than seven hours per night. Studies show that people who get less than seven hours of sleep are almost three times more likely to develop a cold than those who get eight or more hours. In addition to preventing a cold or flu, sleeping enough helps combat heart disease, stroke and obesity. It also improves cognition. So, rest up!
Wash your hands- Do it thoroughly and do it often. Hand washing is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself. The CDC estimates that regular hand washing “can reduce the risk of respiratory infections by 16%” and that almost a million deaths per year could be avoided if everyone washed their hands regularly. Especially after you’ve been in a public place, hand washing is crucial.
Hand sanitizer is handy to use when there is no soap and water available, but you should be washing them the traditional way as often as you possibly can. Wet your hands first, then add soap. Work into a rich lather and scrub for 20 seconds, getting every part of the hands, fingers and fingernails. If you’re in public, use a paper towel to turn off the water and open the bathroom door when you leave.
Eat well- Remember to stay away from processed, fried or sugary foods. These are low in nutrients and high in calories. Replace those with a healthier diet of vegetables, whole grains, fruit, nuts and lean meats. Additionally, it’s much more effective to get your vitamins and minerals from the foods that you eat as opposed to a multi-vitamin. Sickness-fighting vitamins are their most potent right from the source.
Exercise- Exercise gets your blood pumping and helps protect your body from sickness. Regular moderate exercise, especially aerobic exercise, in your everyday routine is one of the best ways to not only stay fit but also combat the common cold, because it boosts your immune system. Examples of moderate exercise include walking, jogging or biking a few times a week. That’s all it takes!
If you are employing these good habits in your life, you’re much less likely to fall ill with a cold or flu this season. To discuss more ways to help yourself, click here to contact us.