The basic steps you should take to avoid getting sick include washing your hands, keeping your distance from others that may be sick, and opting for an elbow bump rather than a handshake, especially during the pandemic. Your practice of protecting yourself against viruses and bacteria goes well beyond defensive measures. You have to be on the offense of your health too. Medical experts weigh in on different ways you can avoid catching something this flu and cold season, from maintaining a healthy plan for a healthy lifestyle to staying home to avoid people until they are cured and feel better.
Wear A Mask
You have heard it for the past few months in response to Covid-19, but to wear a mask in public this year is not a bad idea, even for a runny nose during flu and cold. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest all adults and kids wear a mask, except for kids below the age of 2 or anyone who has a breathing problem, is unconscious, and unable to remove the mask without assistance or incapacitation. These are official recommendations to stop the spread of Covid-19. Still, as influenza and coronavirus spread in very similar ways, the mask may also become handy when trying to protect yourself from the seasonal flu.
Wash Your Hands Often
Each time when you shake someone’s hand, wash your own hands. But don’t stop there; you have to lather up your hands as much as possible. Quick rinse does not give you the most benefit. The CDC’s instructions state that you have to first wet your hands with running water, then turn off the tap and apply some soap. Scrub your hands together for nearly twenty seconds, and then, with the clean towel, dry your hands or air dry them.
Do Not Touch Your Face
Your eyes and nose are the most common places for germs to enter your body, so it is best to avoid touching the face at all. At least not until you have to wash your hands.
Get Enough Sleep
Going to bed on time on a normal basis is not hard. You need more Z’s when you feel under the weather. When you are tired, your body is not fighting as hard, so getting 8 to 10 hours a night sleep keeps your system in tip-top germ-fighting mode.
Get Your Flu Shot Every Year
The CDC recommends everyone six months of age or older get a flu shot every year, especially by the end of October, around the season time. While the flu shot is never 100% effective, it may reduce the severity of the illness if you happen to get the flu even after the flu vaccine.
It is also worth noting that, opposite to the belief you can’t get the flu from the flu shot, though you may get a bit of discomfort after getting a needle in your arm (internal medicine). That is a small price to pay to prevent the flu and sidestepping an illness that kills thousands of people every year.
Eat A Lot Of Fruits And Vegetables
It isn’t always fun to eat healthy most of the time. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables may help support the immune system. Remember, that does not mean a healthy diet is like an armor shield against bacteria and viruses, but it can give the body a better chance of fighting off the illnesses.
Work Out Regularly
Get the leggings on and exercise. Working out regularly increases and strengthens the immune function, which may help your body fight off any flu or common cold germs, but don’t overdo it. Pushing the body past its limits may actually lower your immune system. Stick to mild exercise, starting at 10 minutes a day, and working your way up may have great benefits on your immunity and health.
Keep Your Distance From Sick People
The six-foot rule keeps your distance from others, especially when they are showing symptoms, it looks like common sense, but it applies to more than only staying far enough away from the other people in line. If you have to interact with ill people, make sure to be vigilant about washing your hands, wearing a surgical mask, and not touching your face as the CDC recommends.
Keep Hand Sanitizer On Hand
You are well aware that washing your hands is good protection against flu and cold germs. Sometimes you are not just near a sink with running water and soap. In such situations, keep sanitizer or alcohol-based hand wipes with you all the time. Always look for gel or alcohol-based hand sanitizers with 60% alcohol, which is more effective in killing germs than those without alcohol.
Smoking increases the infection by making changes in the respiratory tract and reducing the immune response. Smoking destroys the hair-like fibers called cilia inside the nose, which may help increase respiratory infection risk.
Suppose you do get ill, sneeze and cough in the crook of your elbow, not in your hands. Your hands are a common source of germs; doing this will prevent the spread. Wearing a mask becomes much more important when you are sick to avoid germs spread when you are coughing or sneezing. Follow all of these tips to avoid getting sick this cold and flu season. It is even more important now than ever due to the Covid-19.