Flu Season varies slightly from year to year, but it is usually most prevalent from October to March. Germs are everywhere, every day and our immune system works 24/7 trying to protect us. Here are 10 tips to help it along:
1). WASH YOUR HANDS
Washing your hands often is the most effective thing that you can do to keep yourself from getting sick! I could have written, "Wash Your Hands, Wash Your Hands, Wash Your Hands" ten times, but that would be a pretty boring post to read. It would be worth it though by emphasizing it that much.
** Anti-bacterial soap is not any more effective than regular soap
2). Wash Your Hands Properly
This is the only addition that I would add to #1. The "rinse-your-hands-under-water-for-a-few-seconds" technique that so many kids use is not going to cut it. To really protect yourself, you need to thoroughly wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. That is much longer than the average person washes his/her hands.
You can time it by singing the "Happy Birthday" song twice. Don't forget to wash the backs or your hands, in-between your fingers and under your nails.
All of those areas are easy entry points for germs to get into your body. If there are germs on your hands, don't deliver them to your "front door".
4). Sneeze Like A Vampire
...Or if you aren't describing this to young kids, sneeze and/or cough, in your elbow, not your hand. If you sneeze/cough into your hand, that makes it very easy for you to spread those germs to another surface...and infect someone else.
Make sufficient sleep a priority. Sleep deprivation suppresses your immune system.
6). Reduce Your Stress
I know, I know, that is sooooo much easier said than done - but chronic stress, just like sleep deprivation, significantly impacts your immune systems'ability to protect you.
7). Eat Healthy Foods
Give your immune system as much help as possible to fight off infections
8). Avoid Sharing Objects
We may like our children to share, but not all the time. Sharing a drink, a toy, a snack, etc easily spreads germs between other people.
9). Clean Frequently
The most disturbing thing about Microbiology Class in nursing school was learning how long bacteria can live on a variety of surfaces: door handles, light switches, all of the surfaces in your car, your toothbrush.....ahhh!
- Change/Wash your pillowcases frequently for the same reason
10). If you are starting to feel sick, avoid crowds.
If your immune system is already fighting something off, don't bombard it with extra germs
What do you do to stay healthy and avoid getting sick?