10 Easy Ways to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Healthy
Worried about getting sick this winter? The good news is there are plenty of easy ways to keep you and your loved ones healthy. Besides getting a flu shot, here are 10 tips for keeping yourself healthy during cold and flu season.
- Keep your hands clean. Wash them often, especially after you cough, sneeze, and/or have been near anyone that is sick. Don’t forget to wash them before you eat.
- Use self-control and avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes throughout the day
- Try to avoid using the same cups, pens, or any other device, tools, or utensils that someone else used during the winter season to prevent the spread of germs.
- Keep hand sanitizer on you at all times – that way you keep your hands germ-free if there isn’t a sink nearby
- Get regular (daily if possible) exercise to keep your immune system strong.
- Rest is important. Get plenty of sleep so you don’t get worn down.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water.
- Reduce the stress you can control. Feeling better will help keep you healthy.
- Add more protein to your diet (it helps the body produce immune cells).
- Add more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet (i.e. whole grain cereal, walnuts, etc.).
So what should you do if you get sick? Well, if you are sick, and you can, avoid contact with those with serious health conditions and stay home from work. Your co-workers will thank you. You should also use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them immediately and appropriately. If you continue to feel sick or something just doesn’t feel right, then see your doctor.
Doing one or all 10 of the keep-healthy tips listed above will leave you better off. Share this with your family and loved ones so they can protect themselves too.
If you find yourself unable to avoid getting cold or flu, you should consult with your doctor primary care. Beyond consulting your doctor here are a few home remedies to ease your symptoms!
#1 Know When not to Treat Symptoms
Believe it or not, those annoying symptoms you’re experiencing are part of the natural healing process — evidence that the immune system is battling illness. For instance, a fever is your body’s way of trying to kill viruses by creating a hotter-than-normal environment. Also, a fever’s hot environment makes germ-killing proteins in your blood circulate more quickly and effectively. Thus, if you endure a moderate fever for a day or two, you may actually get well faster. Coughing is another productive symptom; it clears your breathing passages of thick mucus that can carry germs to your lungs and the rest of your body. Even that stuffy nose is best treated mildly or not at all. A decongestant, like Sudafed, restricts flow to the blood vessels in your nose and throat. But often you want the increase blood flow because it warms the infected area and helps secretions carry germs out of your body.
#2 Blow Your Nose Often (and the Right Way)
It’s important to blow your nose regularly when you have a cold rather than sniffling mucus back into your head. But when you blow hard, pressure can carry germ-carrying phlegm back into your ear passages, causing earache. The best way to blow your nose: Press a finger over one nostril while you blow gently to clear the other.
#3 Treat That Stuffy Nose With Warm Salt Water
Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Here’s a popular recipe:
Mix 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 8 ounces of warm water. Use a bulb syringe or nasal irrigation kit to squirt water into the nose. Hold one nostril closed by applying light finger pressure while squirting the salt mixture into the other nostril. Let it drain. Repeat two to three times, then treat the other nostril.
#4 Stay Warm and Rested
Staying warm and resting when you first come down with a cold or the flu helps your body direct its energy toward the immune battle. This battle taxes the body. So give it a little help by resting.
A warm bowl of soup can be just as comforting!