The flu isn’t just an inconvenience anymore — now it can be a real health hazard. I’ve done a little research on my own, and asked my family doctor for some advice on how to prevent the flu. Here’s what I’ve discovered, my top sven ways to prevent the flu…
1. Stay Home when You’re Sick
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If everyone stayed home when they were sick, or kept their kids home from school when their kids were sick, the flu wouldn’t have much of a chance of spreading. So why do we go to work, or send our kids to school, when we’re sick? Sick people need to be home, resting, and not spreading germs. If you’re sick, or your children are sick, please stay home, and get well soon!
2. Eat Right
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One way to stay healthy, and avoid catching all sorts of nasty flu bugs, is to eat right every day. I’m not suggesting that you give up junk food altogether (how else will you deal with PMS?), but you’ll be healthier and better able to ward off illness if you eat a well-balanced diet. One hint — try every day for your five servings of fruits and veggies.
3. Wash Your Hands
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Every time you come into contact with anything that might be housing germs, like door knobs and telephones, wash your hands. Use warm water and plenty of soap, and wash as long as it takes to sing the alphabet song. Dry your hands, then wash again whenever you need to. Also, avoid putting your hands near your face, since this is the best way to spread germs you may have gotten on your hands into your eyes, nose, or mouth. Ick!
4. Cover Your Cough
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If you have a cough, please cover it! Don’t just use your hand, either. When possible, cough into the crook of your elbow. Think about it… when you cover a cough with your hand, the next thing you touch will naturally be covered in your germs!
5. Get Plenty of Rest
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It’s always important to get plenty of rest, but especially during cold and flu season. When you’re tired, and your body’s not rested, you’re a lot less likely to be able to fend off any bugs that try to work their way in. Make sure you get your eight hour (or more) of sleep each night.
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The more fit you are, the better your chances of avoiding that flu bug that’s going around the office. This goes hand-in-hand with the “eat right” tip. Try and spend at least twenty minutes a day, three or four times each week, doing something that works your heart enough that you breathe heavily and perspire.
7. Get a Flu Shot
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If you’re elderly, or work around sick people (like at a hospital), or already have an immune deficiency, then it’s a very good idea to get a flu shot each season. Remember to always check with your doctor when deciding whether or not the flu shot is right for you.
According to my doctor, if you follow these rules, your chances of catching a cold or flu are much, much slimmer. I’ve followed them for the past few winters, and have been bug-free (knock on wood!)… do you have any other flu-avoiding tips to share? Please let me know!
Top Photo Credit: daily pleasure