Ahhhh, fall. Crisp weather, warm scarves, the smell of pumpkin spice everything. However it can also mean a scratchy throat and runny nose, and that’s if you’re lucky and just get a cold. Yes, as beautiful as fall is, its also cold and flu season. While you can’t completely avoid it, there are certainly steps you can take to stay healthy.
Wash your hands
Think about all the doors you open during the day. The hands you shake. The creamer everyone in your local coffee shop is sharing. Our hands constantly come into direct contact with germs, so wash your hands often. It sounds like such a simple solution, but we rarely do it properly. Hands need to be washed for 20 seconds with antibacterial soap and the hottest water you can stand, about the amount of time it will take your kids to sing the “ABC’s” or “Happy Birthday.” Keeping anti-bacterial sanitizer in your purse and in your kids’ backpacks is a good practice to start keeping.
When your body is tired, it makes it more difficult for it to fight off virus or infection. Making sure to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night will help keep your body strong for when it inevitably comes into contact with those germs.
Get a flu shot
While there is a lot of debate over vaccines, a flu shot is the most effective way to avoid the most rampant strain of the flu.
Exercise can boost your immune system and keep your body in fighting form. Studies have shown that people who get close to an hour of exercise 3 or 4 times a week recover quicker than those couch potatoes when it comes to getting sick.
Its the old “you are what you eat” adage. Nourishing your body with healthy, nutritious food will keep it stronger, making fighting infection easier and more effective. Weighing your body down with empty calories and chemicals is never a good idea, but in this season of wanting to keep your body strong, it’s even more important to nourish it well.
Of course, even with all the right precautions, even the mighty will fall to a cold or flu. And when you do, its important to take proper care of yourself. Staying home from work and resting will not only give your body the much needed recuperation time it needs, but it will keep you from spreading your germs to everyone else.