It’s that time of the year again when temperatures begin to drop, kids go back to school and noses start running. Cold and flu season is upon us and while it may not seem like it yet, it will be in full effect soon enough.
Getting sick doesn’t just happen because you got sneezed on while waiting for the bus one morning. Rather, it’s a result of numerous factors at play when you’re exposed to certain germs. That’s why it’s important to prepare your body for the worst, because the best way to beat common illnesses is to prevent them. Here are a couple of common-sense ways to do that.
Choose healthy foods.
We’ve all heard “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away.” Studies have not proven that apple consumption reduces the number of doctor visits, so perhaps it’s better to say that “An Apple a Day Keeps the Pharmacist Away”. Apples and other fruits are packed with anti-oxidants and free radicals that boost your immune system. Vegetables and other organic foods are also rich in vitamins and minerals. With these body-boosting factors you give your body the best tools to keep bacteria and viruses at bay.
Get enough sleep.
How many times have you caught yourself staring at that infamous “Are you still there?” message from Netflix after you just finished a four-episode binge session? The temptations to stay up late are endless and it’s easy to forget to prioritize sleep when you’ve got all the latest digital entertainment at your fingertips. However, sleep is vital to keeping your body healthy. Sleep is involved in healing and the repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
Moving around does wonders for the body and by moving around I don’t mean going through your daily routine at work. Breaking a sweat from running or other cardiovascular activities not only benefits your heart but also keeps your body in the best shape to fight off illness. In fact, according to a recent Flu Survey, exercising vigorously for at least two and a half hours each week could prevent 100 cases of the flu per 1,000 people each year.
Get out of the house.
This is an easy one to do and is really better for your mental health than anything. Getting out of the house, especially if you can attend social activities, has been proven to decrease depression and anxiety, both of which can negatively affect your immune system. So make sure you don’t lock yourself away this flu season, just wash your hands.
Get a flu shot.
In this day and age I really feel like I shouldn’t have to explain the benefits here… but people still seem to not understand the value. Most insurance covers the costs and it’s as easy as visiting your local pharmacy. Oh and it’s important that you get the shot BEFORE you get sick. This is a preventative measure not a cure.
Here’s a bonus tip, disinfect your phone. If you knew the amount of germs that were on your phone at any given moment, you would likely think twice before touching it to your face again. This is as easy as grabbing a lint-free cloth (like the kind you use on glasses) and spraying it with a diluted alcohol solution, then wipe.
Some simple precautions, and taking the time to take care of yourself will help you stay healthy and productive this year – be safe and well!