In this post I talk about cold and flu prevention tips, how to avoid getting sick and protecting yourself from the flu without vaccination.
How can you protect yourself from the flu without vaccination? Here are tips on how to avoid the flu and common cold and also how to boost your immune system.
Do you avoid your co-worker with that hacking cough, cold or flu in the cubicle next to you? Do you open every door knob with your elbow? I do. Maybe I’m a germaphobe, or maybe I just want to be healthy.
Following are 12 cold and flu prevention tips to keep you healthy.
HOW TO AVOID THE FLU
1. Wash your hands to avoid the flu
Each time you shake someone’s hand, wash your hands for cold and flu prevention. Lather up your hands as much as possible with an antibacterial soap. Don’t just run water over your hands like most people you’ve seen in public restrooms.
Running lots of water over your hands after washing with antibacterial soap will dilute any germs and send them down the drain.
Rinse your hands under warm water, lather up and over your hands and under your fingernails then rinse off.
I use HIBICLENS liquid soap (delivered monthly via Amazon to the house.) Doctors and surgeons use HIBICLENS before and after surgery. Patients post surgery cleanse with HIBICLENS to prevent infection.
Anyone can use HIBICLENS. It kills bacteria, viruses, MRSA and staph infections! I used it to fight off a staph infection. I wash with normal body soap in the shower then wash a 2nd time with HIBICLENS. You can get it anywhere first aid and soaps are sold but I use Amazon for a once a month auto delivery.
2. Don’t touch your face
No one should have to tell you this. Your nose and eyes are the most common places for germs and viruses to get into your body. It’s best to avoid touching your face before washing your hands (that goes for biting your nails, where germs live) for cold and flu prevention.
3. Get enough sleep
As if going to bed on time on a normal basis isn’t hard enough, you need more zz’s when you’re feeling under the weather. When you’re tired, your body isn’t fighting as hard. It’s suggested getting 8–10 hours a night to keep your system in tip-top germ-fighting shape.
4. Get your flu shot—every. single. year
There is controversy on this one. I will admit I never get a flu shot to help prevent the flu. It is highly recommended you get a flu shot as you get older, as in over 50. I would tend to agree with this.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone six months of age or older get a flu shot every year—ideally by the end of October, around the time flu season starts showing up.
A pneumonia shot is highly recommended but only for people over 50. Although flu shots are a controversial tip, they can be used to avoid the flu.
5. Eat enough fruits and vegetables
This one you’ve heard many times and most of us don’t do it. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help support your immune system in the fish against the common cold and flu virus.
Instead of eating fruits and vegetables in standard form, I put them in a smoothie I make at home. Smoothies taste so much better and you won’t even notice the broccoli in the mix when using a smoothie maker.
Fruits and vegetables give your body an even better chance of fighting off the flu. You can make a healthy smoothie out of all sorts of healthy foods. I usually put a cup of milk, some ice, 1/2 cup oats, broccoli, frozen strawberries, a banana (or apple) with chocolate protein powder. This tastes AMAZING! These smoothies also help you to lose weight.
6. Work out regularly
Get those sweats on and exercise, says Ann G. Kulze, MD, CEO and founder of Dr. Ann and Just Wellness. Working out regularly enhances immune function, which can help your body fight off any cold or flu germs.
I know working out isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do. Start small. Take your dog for a walk. Do something to get moving and work up from there. Look at YouTube for basic exercises or buy some simple weight loss books.
Don’t workout if you’re sick. Your body needs all the energy it can get to fight off a flu virus or cold if you’re trying to get over one.
7. Keep your distance from sick people
Keep a safe distance from sick people. Don’t touch things sick people touch and if you do, wash your hands immediately! This is one of the biggest things for cold and flu prevention.
Avoid the flu and common cold by steering clear of others who are sick!
If you are sick, it is best to stay home from work to avoid spreading the flu virus. Many people are afraid to take off work but if you don’t, you will not only be miserable on the job, but risk giving others the flu virus.
Even if you don’t get the flu you can act as a carrier to family and friends. If you have to interact with people who are sick, make sure to wash your hands and not touch your face, computer or phone until you do.
When working alongside someone who is sick at work, I wash my hands immediately. Remember, sick people touch their keyboard and mouse…and maybe you touched their keyboard and mouse too.
Never touch your face or even cell phone until you wash your hands after visiting these sick people. Keyboards and phones are the most germ-infested items in the workplace.
8. Keep hand sanitizer on hand
Washing your hands is good protection against cold and flu germs but sometimes you aren’t near a sink. Keep sanitizing gel or alcohol-based hand wipes on you at all times. Alcohol-based wipes and gels are more effective for cold and flu prevention.
I buy Lysol sanitizer wipes and go over door handles, sink faucets, counter tops and my steering wheel each week.
9. Quit smoking already.
Smoking increases the risk of infection by making structural changes in the respiratory tract and decreasing immune response, according to a study of smokers and infection published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2004.
Smoking destroys cilia, the little hairlike fibers inside our noses, which can increase infection risks. Nicotine depletes vitamin C in your body like crazy! Nicotine also strengthens staph infections and MRSA!
10. Be wary of sharing food with others
Double-dippers may be passing germs to those who eat after them, so steer clear of communal snacks—especially at your company’s holiday party, when cold and flu season is in full swing.
Someone may not be sick, but they could be a virus carrier. This carrier may have touched something a sick person touched and it gets passed to you through community food at work or home.
Don’t share drinks with anyone – it’s not worth it. This is another big tip in cold and flu prevention.
11. Try to smile once in a while
New research has found that happiness may help you fight off colds and flu viruses. Carl Charnetski, MD, professor of psychology at Wilkes University, found that sex, positive thinking, playing with a pet and other pleasurable behaviors boost your immune system—making it harder for viruses to stick.
12. Think of ways to keep others healthy too
Let’s say, by some awful luck, you get sick. When you have to cough and sneeze, do so into the crook of your elbow, not into your hands. Since your hands are a common source of germs, doing that will prevent them from spreading.
Remember that anything you touch can carry germs. Public transportation, hospitals, workplaces, restaurants and basically anywhere someone has been or touched, can and will carry germs.
I hope you found these cold and flu prevention tips useful. If you practice these health tips you will protect yourself from the flu without vaccination.
Avoiding the flu and common cold isn’t easy but following these cold and flu prevention tips will keep you healthy.
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