If you are living anywhere near the North East, you do not need to be reminded how brutal the cold weather is this year. The temperature significantly drops, cold fronts bring wind in with them, and it can rain or snow. Everybody closes up their windows and doors and they stay inside, where viruses have the perfect environment to grow. With cold weather comes the threat of germs on every surface imaginable, colds, the flu, and other illnesses and infections. There are several ways you can do your best and try to get through the winter without getting sick.
GET A FLU SHOT. You would be surprised how many people skip this step each year. While the flu shot does not guard you against every strain of the flu, it can greatly reduce the risk of you contracting the flu at all as well as decrease the severity and side effects if you do happen to get it. The best time of year to get this is before the flu season begins but do not worry, if you did not get it earlier this year, you can still get it now!
WASH YOUR HANDS. And buy hand sanitizer! A lot of it! And while you are at it, you may want to buy a travel sized bottle of hand cream to help reduce the dryness that all of the hand-washing and hand sanitizer will cause. There are germs on every surface you touch and you probably do not realize how many things you are actually touching. The hand rail on the bus, the kitchen counter, door knobs, sink faucets, and pens. The list could go on forever. Also, make sure to not touch your face. Your eyes, nose and mouth are the most common areas for germs to get in.
EAT HEALTHY. We may not be able to control what viruses and germs are out there but we can control what we do to keep ourselves healthy. Maintaining a healthy, well balanced diet that is rich with vitamins, anti-oxidants, and all of the other nutrients you need is a great way to build and maintain a healthy immune system. It is important to maintain this healthy balance all year, not just when you are feeling under the weather. Of course, there is always that good old fashioned chicken noodle soup to help you along the way too.
KEEP IT MOVING. Staying physically active is important no matter what. The benefits of being fit and healthy go much further than just helping prevent the cold and flu. When you are physically active, you increase your blood flow and circulation throughout your body. With better blood circulation comes better immune circulation which means your body has a better chance of finding any illnesses that are lurking and fighting them off.
CATCH SOME Z’S. Get some sleep. Giving your body time to rest and recover is one of the most important things you can do for your health. While it will not grant you immunity from diseases and illness, it will make you a little less vulnerable to it. Getting extra sleep is also vital if you are already sick because it gives your body time to repair itself and fight off infection.
TAKE A PILL. And by that, we mean take your vitamins! This helps your body get the necessary nutrients you need especially if you aren’t getting enough of them through your diet already. Vitamins help your overall health as well as aid in boosting your immune system.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR. If you start feeling sick and do not show any signs of getting better after a couple days, you need to call your Doctor. They will likely have you come in, examine you, and depending on what they determine you have, prescribe you medication.