Nobody likes getting sick, and with cold and flu season in full swing, you may want to take steps so you don’t have to suffer through the coughing, sneezing, and body aches these two viruses can cause.
At Calvary Medical Clinic, we want nothing more than to help you stay well this season, so we’re providing some of our best tips to help keep you from getting sick this winter.
1. Get vaccinated
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 million people in the United States got the flu during the 2017-2018 flu season. One of the best things you can do to prevent getting the viral infection is to get vaccinated.
The flu vaccine will help your body develop antibodies to fight off the virus if you come in contact with it.
2. Wash your hands
Did you know that the cold virus can survive for days on an inanimate object, such as a door handle or computer keyboard? Regularly washing your hands may prevent you from transmitting germs from those objects to your body.
To wash properly, apply soap and water to your hands and rub them vigorously for 20 seconds. Then rinse your hands under running water and dry them with a clean towel. If getting to a sink to wash your hands isn’t possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
It’s estimated that people touch their face with their hands about 23 times an hour. Most viral infections enter your body through your eyes, nose, or mouth. So if you can avoid touching your face, you can increase your chances of staying healthy.
4. Sanitize shared objects
Because viruses can live on inanimate objects for days, be careful when touching things that are handled by a lot of people, such as shopping carts, money, and elevator buttons. If possible, clean your hands with antibacterial wipes after touching common objects.
5. Eat a healthy diet
Your body is one of your best defenses against getting sick. To keep your immune system strong enough to fight off viruses, be sure to eat a balanced and healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of protein.
6. Continue your exercise routine
Between the holidays and the cold weather, your exercise routine may fall to the wayside, but it shouldn’t. Exercising regularly can keep your body strong and help it fight off viruses.
If you go to the gym, be sure to wipe shared equipment with an antibacterial cloth before and after you exercise.
7. Adopt techniques to reduce stress
Stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness. In addition to exercise, find activities that can help you manage stress, such as meditation or massage therapy.
8. Prioritize sleep
Not getting adequate rest can make you more vulnerable to catching a cold or flu virus. Your body releases cytokines while you sleep, which are proteins that not only help you sleep deeply, but they also fight infections and inflammation. A lack of sleep can decrease production of these virus-fighting proteins and increase your risk of getting sick.
9. Stay home if you’re sick
One of the best ways to prevent spreading cold or flu viruses is to stay home when you’re sick. Colds and flu viruses are highly contagious, and you can easily make others sick if you go to work, school, or the store while you’re still contagious. With the flu, you can get people sick up to seven days after contracting the virus. With colds, you can get people sick for up to two weeks after contracting the virus.
Taking care of yourself is the best way to prevent getting sick this winter season. To get the care you need, book an appointment online or over the phone with Calvary Medical Clinic today.