It’s flu season—–are you ready? Over 40 million Americans come down with some sort of influenza each year, with an estimated 34,000 people dying from complications associated with the flu. It is a disease that must be taken seriously, and taking proactive measures to prevent its occurrence is the number one thing you can do to avoid a nasty case of the “flu’s” this season.
Here are some useful tips for weathering this season of sniffles, aches, and pains. Take these steps now to have a restful, relaxing, healthier flu season than ever before.
1. Get a flu shot
While there are varying opinions on vaccinations and their effectiveness, the proof is in the statistics. Getting vaccinated reduces your chances of illness by as much as 60 percent; it is one of the most important things you can do for your kids and their developing immune systems.
2. Keep your hands clean
We are living in a busy world; with the amount of moving about, being in common areas together, and touching things that others have touched, your hands are a veritable treasure trove of germs and bacteria. Cleaning your hands well and often is another best line of defense against cold and flu development. If you can’t get to a sink with running water, consider the use of hand sanitizer to wash away harmful germs. Clean hands will help protect you and your family this season.
3. Avoid coming in contact with anyone who has the flu, if possible
It is customary to shake someone’s hand the first time you meet someone. This is also a very effective way of transferring germs and bacteria from one person to another. While it may need clarification, simply explaining to someone why you are not willing to shake hands will be enough to gain others’ understanding of your desire to be healthy. If you live with someone who currently has the flu, take precautions against touching items that may be contaminated, and clean surfaces, clothing, and bodies well and often to prevent the spread of disease.
4. Keep a clean house
A messy house or office space is a breeding ground for extra germs and bacteria. Regularly clean and vacuum your home, and keep surfaces in the office clean with soap, water, and antibacterial wipes. A clean house and environment will reduce your chances of contracting anything that may be lying around.
5. Maintain an active and healthy lifestyle
Eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and quality protein will help you to keep your immune system in tip-top shape. Staying active and moving that body will stimulate all of your systems and keep everything running smoothly. Staying hydrated and getting enough quality sleep will do wonders for your energy level and your ability to fight off germs. You will benefit both mentally and physically from maintaining a healthy lifestyle; make the commitment to change your habits and set up new, healthy ones that improve the quality of your life.
6. Prevent the spread of germs
Prevent the spread of germs by cleaning and sanitizing things that have been used by someone who is ill. Throw out toothbrushes after illness, and clean and sanitize rooms after a bout with the flu to prevent infection from infiltrating your house. Consider the use of an air purifier to drag harmful pathogens and bacteria out of the air that may be lurking after a bout of illness. Doing so will set up your whole family with better health.
7. Keep your respiratory system free and clear
Keep your nose, throat, and lungs clear with the use of neti pots and air purifiers to clear out harmful pathogens that may be stuck in soft tissues and mucous. Another thing you should consider is kicking the habit of smoking. Smoking affects all aspects of your respiratory system negatively, and when you quit, your lungs, throat, and mouth start healing almost immediately. You’ll be breathing free and clear all season long.
8. Drink some tea
Switch out your cup of coffee for some tea, and start seeing health benefits almost immediately. Powerful antioxidants and flavonoids found in tea help to flush out harmful toxins from the body, and the steam coming off your cup will help to clear out sinuses and your nose, helping you to breathe easier.
9. Choose the right medications
There are a host of over-the-counter medications that can help ease symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening. Choose one that addresses your symptoms, your body composition, and your age, and see benefits almost immediately upon taking it. If you have questions about which medications are right for you, talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the symptoms you are trying to control, and they will make a suggestion that meets your needs.
10. Listen to your body!
Your body has its own innate sense of wisdom; listening to the signals that your body is sending will give you valuable information on what to do to restore your health and prevent further illness. When you feel tired, rest. Hot water with tea and lemon does wonders to soothe a sore throat. And, of course, staying hydrated will help to flush out toxins and reduce fever symptoms that can make the flu so darned uncomfortable. Listen, trust, and follow your instincts; you’ll be on the path to health and healing in no time.
Here’s to your health!
Take proactive measures to safeguard your health, minimize symptoms, and rest while healing, and your flu season will be over before you know it. Here’s to your vibrant health and vitality!