The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year for just about everyone, and the worst time to come down with a serious illness. Unfortunately, it’s also the prime time to pick up an illness like the flu, because you’re typically out and about around so many people. Following these tips to prevent the flu can help keep you in commission and let you get all that busy holiday work done without requiring a boat load of over-the-counter medicines.
Tips to Prevent the Flu
- Wash your hands! This is the number one rule to prevent the flu or any other illness. It can’t be said enough: good hand hygiene is your major key to staying healthy. Your hands touch so many objects throughout the day and pick up billions of germs. Wash with warm water and soap, and rub hands together vigorously to really work those germs off. Friction is the most important step, so do not skip it! Dry your hands with a paper towel if possible. Those dryers in public bathrooms may seem more sanitary, but if you didn’t do a good job washing your hands, they provide the perfect warm environment for bacteria to thrive and grow.
- Keep your hands off your face. Yes, washing your hands is the number one rule, but let’s face it, it’s not like you can walk around with a sink in your purse, or spray hand sanitizer on every five minutes. Since germs typically enter your system through your mouth and nose, keep your hands off your face throughout the day. This is a lot harder than it sounds, as the average person touches their face over a dozen times each hour!
- Spend time outdoors. Did you know that it’s a myth that going out in the cold can give you a cold? Germs can’t survive in frigid temperatures! Getting outdoors in the brisk air for a short time each day can actually keep you healthier and help prevent the flu. If it’s really cold, though, bundle up sufficiently. While you won’t catch a cold or the flu from being cold, you can still get hypothermia!
- Consider getting the flu vaccine. If you’re in a high-risk group, consider getting the vaccine to prevent the flu. You can get it just about anywhere these days, and it only takes a few minutes. High-risk groups include the elderly, children, medical workers, and those who spend a lot of time around those groups.
- Stay away from sick people. Another tip to prevent the flu that’s easier said than done, but if you can, avoid obviously ill people. Don’t become a hermit for the season, just take extra precautions! If you’re at the store and the lady in line in front of you is sneezing and coughing like a maniac, go to another line.
- Eat healthy. A healthy diet rich in vitamins and nutrients won’t prevent the flu, but it can lessen the severity of the symptoms. Vitamin C and zinc may decrease the longevity of the virus. Plus, healthy eating is beneficial in so many other ways, so it’s a no-brainer really.