When the holidays come to an end and we all go back to our daily routines, we’re at a higher risk of coming into contact with germs like the influenza viruses. Although the flu levels off after about six weeks as Spring comes, it tends to spread rapidly during this hectic time when everyone’s lowered immune systems are also bombarded by colder temperatures and decreased levels of natural sunlight. However, with the right mindset and some handy tools, however, you can easily prevent the flu’s spread. Let’s take a look at how you can keep viruses and other illnesses away this flu season.
Flu Prevention Tips
Whether you spend your days relaxing at home, teaching in a classroom or working in an office, here’s a collection of flu prevention tips designed to help you stay healthy in 2017.
- Always Get Your Flu Shot – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest that everyone over the age of 6 months should receive a flu shot annually. As the flu virus continues to evolve and mutate, virologists and healthcare professionals routinely augment the shot to combat new strains of the virus. So, if you haven’t been inoculated within the past year, your immune system won’t stand a chance against new and more dangerous forms of the flu.
- Stay at Home When You’re Sick – The CDC also recommends that you keep your distance from others when you’re not feeling well. Even if you don’t have the flu, keeping your sneezing and coughing away from coworkers, friends, and loved ones is just common courtesy and helps curb the spread of common colds and other viruses that thrive during this time of the year.
- Stop Touching Your Eyes and Nose – Keeping your hands away from your face is an effective way to prevent illness. Even if you routinely wash your hands, bacteria can go completely unnoticed, and even if you use hand sanitizer, trace amounts can still linger. Therefore, it’s recommended that you avoid touching your eyes and nose, orifices that are generally more vulnerable to infectious diseases.
- Wash Your Hands – Health and wellness professionals from WebMD to Zogics recommend that you wash your hands often to limit the spread of germs and avoid coming down with the flu, while Home Care America offers a handy step-by-step guide to washing germs away effectively.
- Cover Your Nose and Mouth – If you can’t avoid missing school or work, keep your nose and mouth covered to prevent spreading germs to everyone around you. While they may look like overkill, consider wearing a surgical mask or using disposable gloves if you work in a densely-populated setting like a school, where the flu tends to spread rapidly due to close contact.
How to Prevent the Flu Naturally
Whether you’re determined to protect your family, students or coworkers while taking care of yourself, here’s a number of ways to remain in good health in the new year.
- Avoid Close Contact – The CDC advises you to dodge people who have the flu until they’re feeling better. If you can’t avoid people who currently have the flu, there are still some precautions you can take. Just as you should cover your nose and mouth if you’re concerned about being infected, you should also avoid close contact with others to minimize your risk of flu exposure. Maintain a safe distance where accidental coughs or sneezes can’t affect you, and be sure to avoid sharing food or drinking glasses.
- Keep Surfaces Clean – Everyday surfaces pass along germs wherever you are. Do your part to keep them clean and free of bacteria, but if you can’t clean them personally, make sure you invest in a flu and germ protection kit to halt the spread of germs.
- Lead a Healthy Lifestyle – Sleep well, eat healthy foods, drink lots of water and exercise regularly to ward off infection. By staying hydrated, keeping a regular, 8-hour sleep schedule and maintaining a healthy plant-based diet, you’ll be astonished at how strong your immune system can be.
- Embrace Natural Remedies – Herbal remedies and supplements offer all-natural ways to treat any seasonal symptoms when you’re not feeling your best. Since the flu is a virus, you’ll ultimately need to let it run its course while regularly checking your temperature. Keep in mind that if you’re suffering from a fever above 101 degrees for more than three days, you should seek immediate medical attention at a hospital. However, if your flu is less severe, you’ll still need to wait it out for a few days until you’re no longer symptomatic or contagious.
With the new year in full swing, take the right steps toward helping others and protecting yourself as you go through your day-to-day activities. This hectic time of year always leads to an influx of cold and flu bugs, so do your best to adopt these preventative measures so that you can maintain great health all year long. These flu prevention tips, especially the ones designed to prevent the flu naturally, are great ways to boost your quality of life at home, school, and work.
Author Bio: Carl Turner is a freelance writer and a life coach from Los Angeles, California. Combining his expertise in the wellness industry, he has helped hundreds of clients reach their optimal health. When he is not busy with work, he enjoys writing informative articles and researching new topics.