How to Protect Yourself From the Flu

How to Protect Yourself From the Flu

Kerchoo! “God bless you!”

Oh no! It’s that time of year again – the dreaded cold and flu season. How can we protect ourselves? Did you know that you can be contagious for up to two to three days before you experience any symptoms? This makes it hard to protect ourselves and others. There are several things we can do to help prevent the spread of viruses – and they all involve using common sense.

1. Sleep

First of all make sure you get plenty of rest and sleep. Being rested helps your immune system to be at its best. In general most people need seven to eight hours of sleep at night. You need to plan your eight hours of sleep just like you plan the rest of your daily tasks. You are not going to miss a day of meals or your daily shower/bath are you? Discipline your time in the same way so that you get the proper hours of sleep.

2. Exercise

Get enough exercise. Start an exercise program after checking with your physician, and once you receive the go ahead, put exercising into your daily routine. Twenty to 30 minutes of walking will do wonders for your physical well-being, and it will also boost your immune system, making you less susceptible to viruses.

3. Fluids

Drink adequate amounts of fluid. There is no need to overdo the fluids, but keeping yourself hydrated properly helps to keep infections at bay. Signs that you are not adequately hydrated are dry lips or a dry mouth. One simple test is to softly pinch the skin of your forearm and if the skin stays pinched when you release your fingers it is a sign that you are dehydrated. Eight glasses (one glass= 8 ounces) of fluid per day is plenty of fluid for a normal healthy person. This can include the different fluids you drink such as coffee, tea, and good old-fashioned water. It can also include solids such as Jell-O or pudding.

4. Wash Your Hands

One of the best things you can do to protect yourself and others is to keep your hands clean. After you’ve been in a crowd of people, or just out in public, simply wash your hands with soap and water. The friction of rubbing your hands with the soap and water is what removes the germs. While you are scrubbing your hands say the alphabet. This ensures you’ve washed your hands long enough to make a difference.

These are not complicated preventions, you can easily incorporate these suggestions into your day and have a healthy winter and spring.