The flu season is upon us and with the threat of H1N1 spreading across the country; more and more people are starting to worry. Instead of worrying about catching the flu, we have put together a list of how you can gear up for the flu in case you unfortunately catch it and what you can do to reduce your chances of getting it.
Tip # 1 – Antibacterial wipes
Whenever you head into public places, take antibacterial hand wipes with you. Make sure you wipe down your shopping cart and always wipe your hands after you leave. Don’t forget to wipe down commonly touched places like your car door and steering wheel. Germs can live on surfaces for days and the more you clean, the easier it will be to reduce your chances of catching the flu bug.
Tip # 2 – No kissing or touching
If someone you love has the flu, don’t kiss them, and wash your hands after you have been around anything that they have touched. Ask them to wear a mask and make sure you are wearing one too. Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth if you haven’t washed your hands.
Tip # 3 – Soap and warm water
Constantly wash your hands, even if you are in your own home. Wash your hands before preparing and eating any meal. Public bathrooms are the worst because only 77% of people actually admit to washing their hands after using the restroom. Touch the paper towel dispenser before you wash your hands and then use the paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open the bathroom door.
Tip # 4 – Rest and relaxation
Try to reduce your stress load during this hectic time of year. People that are under a great deal of stress are susceptible to catching colds and the flu. Try to get a massage at least two times a month and make sure you are getting at least eight hours of sleep a night. If you catch the flu, stay in bed even longer. Use some NyQuil or other cold and flu medications that can help you sleep.
Tip # 5 – Exercise
We all know that when we are sick, the last thing we want to do is exercise. Exercise is the best way to get your body feeling better. Don’t overdo it when you’re sick; instead stick to relaxing exercises like yoga and daily meditation. Exercising daily helps to strengthen the body, which helps to prevent you from getting sick in the first place.
Tip # 6 – Drink
Don’t grab the soda when you are sick, go for some water. It is important to keep your body hydrated by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Your urine should be a light yellow or practically clear color in order to know you are not dehydrated. If you can’t drink enough water, or you are sick of the taste, drink a Gatorade to help fill in the gap when you can’t find water.
Tip # 7 – Eat right
There is no question that eating right is important for your body anyhow, but this is definitely important when you are sick. Increase your intake of vitamin-rich foods like green vegetables, oranges, apples, and other healthier foods. Eating right helps the immune system defend against pathogens. Eat lots of seafood like salmon and eat more yogurt as both foods help to defend the body against harmful bacteria.
Tip # 8 – Vaccinations
You may hate standing in line for hours to be one of the lucky ones to get the flu shot and the H1N1 shot, but it is worth it. Vaccinations do work and they are the best way to prevent your body from coming down with the flu. You may experience a few symptoms of the flu right off the bat, but it usually goes away in a couple days.
Tip # 9 – Vitamins
Increase your intake of vitamins. Vitamin A, C, and E are all known to help protect the immune system from the flu and the common cold. If you aren’t getting enough vitamins in your diet, increase your intake of them through supplements.
Tip # 10 – Stay Home!!
If you are sick with the flu, stay home. Don’t bring it to the office where you can spread it to everyone else. If you are running a fever, it normally takes at least 24-48 hours for it to break and you are highly contagious during this time.