Ways to Stay Healthy During Cold and Flu Season
Cold and flu season is upon us. The sounds of coughing and sneezing are far too common these days and it seems like everyone was or is fighting a bug of some sort. In an attempt avoid becoming under the weather, check out the following tips for staying healthy from webmd.com:
- Wash your hands. There's no mystery about how cold and flu viruses spread. Someone who's sick sneezes in his hand and then touches the telephone, the keyboard or a kitchen glass. You can pick up the germ when you touch that object, even hours later. So wash your hands often. If you can't get to a sink, rub them with a hand sanitizer that's got alcohol in it.
- Don't cover your sneezes and coughs with your hands. Do your part to keep germs away from your family and friends. Viruses cling to your bare hands, so don't use them to muffle your coughs and sneezes. When you feel one coming, use a tissue, then throw it away. If you don't have one with you, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
- Don't touch your face. Cold and flu viruses enter your body through your eyes, nose and mouth. Teach your kids not to touch their faces -- and follow your own advice.
- Do aerobic exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise is any activity that gets your heart pumping. It helps increase your body's natural virus-killing cells.
- Eat foods containing phytochemicals. "Phyto" means plants, and the natural chemicals in them give the vitamins in food a supercharged boost. So put away the vitamin pill and eat dark green, red and yellow veggies and fruits.
- Don't smoke. Heavy smokers get more severe and frequent colds. Even being around smoke hurts the immune system, your body's defense against germs. Smoke dries out the passages in your nose. It affects your cilia -- the delicate hairs that line your nose and lungs and help sweep away cold and flu viruses. Experts say just one cigarette can stop them from working for as long as 30 to 40 minutes.
- Cut back on drinking alcohol. Heavy drinking curbs the immune system. It can make you more likely to get infections as well as complications. Alcohol also dehydrates your body.
- Relax. Your germ-defense system will appreciate it. There's evidence that your immune system revs up when you de-stress. One way to relax - train yourself to picture an image you find pleasant or calming. Do this 30 minutes a day for several months.
I guess the good news is cold and flu season won’t last forever, but in the meantime, keep the above tips in mind as we make our way through the remainder of winter.
Cold and flu season is upon us. The sounds of coughing and sneezing are far too common these days and it seems like everyone was or is fighting a bug of some sort.