Everywhere you look at this time of year someone is sniffling, sneezing or coughing. It’s the season for colds and flu, but just because there’s lots of viruses running rampant, doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a week or more of misery.
Here are 6 ways you can avoid getting sick this winter:
Wash your hands. You’ve heard it over and over – wash your hands. But it’s the best piece of advice you can get. Washing your hands often is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Soap and water is best, but if there’s no sink around, alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do.
Stay away from people who are sick. It seems logical enough, right? Yet many people don’t make enough effort to steer clear of people who are visibly ill. If there’s a bug going around your office, do your best to call or email instead of working side by side while your co-worker is hacking. Avoid shaking hands with people during cold and flu season.
Disinfect often touched surfaces. Germs spread quickly at home, work and other places you frequent. Whenever possible, use a disinfecting spray or wipe to clean often touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, TV remotes, fridge handles and stair railings. And clean your phone – it has more germs than just about anything you touch all day! Also avoid touching things like railings, screens, buttons and menus in public whenever possible or wash your hands as soon as possible after you touch them.
Consume immune-boosting foods. Eating a well-rounded diet can help keep your immune system going strong, which helps you fight illness. Some foods to include in your diet for an immune-boosting punch? Dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, ginger tea, honey, yogurt, garlic and cold water fish, among others. Also be sure to stay well-hydrated by drinking lots of water.
Stay active. You already know regular physical activity is good for your overall health. But according to a study published in the journal Neurologic Clinicians, exercise does even more than you think to help prevent illness. It accelerates the circulation of disease-fighting white blood cells which help you fight the common cold.
Get enough sleep. A good night’s shuteye may help reduce the risk of developing chronic and acute illnesses. It keeps your immune system strong, which makes it easier for your body to fight off viruses and infection.