Tips to Protect Yourself During Cold & Flu Season 

Cold and flu season is right around the corner. Today’s blog post shares tips to stay healthy during this season.
Wash up

Both the cold and flu are contagious. Coming in contact with an infected person poses risk for you to catch the virus. A good method to protect yourself is by washing your hands. You should scrub for at least 20 seconds using hot, soapy water. If water is not an option, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do the trick!
Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential to maintain health and wellness. Getting adequate sleep maintains your immune system’s ability to fight a cold. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Get your yearly flu shot

Your yearly flu shot protects against pathogens that cause influenza (aka: the flu). Getting the flu shot decreases your risk of contracting the flu. A flu shot may not prevent the flu completely, but it can lessen the duration and severity of symptoms.
Maintain a healthy diet

Eating healthy ensures that your immune system remains in top shape. A well-balanced diet protects your immune system against illness. Your diet should include fruits, vegetables, proteins and milk products.
Manage stress

Emotional stress weakens the immune system. Elevated stress levels activates your fight-or-flight response, suppressing body processes.  Taking time to engage in self-care is important.
Take in extra fluids

Drinking plenty of water is helpful to maintain overall health, but it also enables the body to fend off viruses that cause the cold/flu. Avoiding dehydration allows the immune system to maintain peak function. General guidelines recommend 6-8 glasses per day.

Exercising is a good way to increase your immunity. Exercise not only helps you stay fit, but it also increases immunity against cold/flu viruses.
Keep your hands away from your face

Touching an infected surface, then touching your face can transmit any cold/flu viruses. Disinfecting surfaces often, or avoiding touching them, ensures you are not contacting any infected surfaces.
Avoid smoking

Smoking hinders our respiratory system, and this can decrease immune system response. Avoiding smoking and smoke exposure decreases your risk of becoming sick with a cold or flu.
Keep warm

Wearing extra layers in the winter maintains our body temperature, but it also helps us avoid the cold/flu. Maintaining extra body heat reduces the risk of shivering, which causes the body to lose heat and decrease the immune system. Wearing hats, scarves, or other layers is a great way to achieve this.
What are tricks you use to protect yourself during flu season? 


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