This time of the year it may feel like you live and work in a petri dish. People at the office are passing symptoms around and kids seem to maintain a constant runny nose. Whether it’s a stomach bug, a cold, or the flu, the good news is that it doesn’t have to be this way. By taking some simple precautions, you can make a big impact in preventing the spread of cold and flu for yourself, your coworkers, and your family.
Keep Your Immune System Strong
The best thing you can do to avoid getting sick is build up your immune system. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night is a great start. By giving your body adequate rest, you’re allowing yourself to fully recover each day. Being well rested will help you to fight infection.
Maintaining a healthy diet and staying hydrated are also extremely important in keeping your immune system strong. Drink plenty of water and try to eat lots of fruits and vegetables as well as foods that contain plenty of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and high fiber grains. Avoid alcohol, red meat, and processed foods when possible.
Regular exercise will boost your immune system by helping your body produce more antibodies to stave off infection. Working out also helps to fight depression and anxiety, both of which make you more susceptible to getting sick. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that you should avoid going to the gym if you feel that you are coming down with something. Once you’re body has started fighting an infection and is weakened, you will be more likely to get become infected by the germs found on equipment at a public facility.
Don’t Touch Everything
Washing your hands regularly is one of the easiest and best ways to avoid getting sick during cold and flu season. If soap and hot water are not available, hand sanitizer is a good second option. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth whenever possible.
During this time of the year, it is best to be overly cautious about what you touch. If you use public transportation, regularly handle money, or share items at work, washing your hands frequently is even more important.
Affection Can Lead to Infection
Just because someone isn’t displaying symptoms doesn’t mean they aren’t infected and contagious. There is no need to be a hypochondriac, but limiting who you hug, kiss, and shake hands with are good precautionary measures. Avoid sharing food and drink as well as personal items such as pillows or towels.
Encourage people to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze to avoid spreading infection. If someone at work or school is sick, it is best that they stay home until they are feeling better and are no longer contagious. Disinfect their space and open some windows to let the space air out for a day or two.
Get Your Immunizations
It is always a good idea to get your flu shot every year. While the flu is not the only common illness during the colder months, it is one of the most common and easiest to prevent. FastMed Urgent Care clinics offer walk-in flu shots and vaccines for adults and children, 7 days a week.]]>