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10 ways to prevent the cold and flu

As temperatures drop and cold and flu season approaches, we would like to offer 10 effective ways you can help prevent catching the flu and cold this season.

  1. Get a flu vaccination. Check with your physician about getting a flu shot this year. The vaccination is available at doctors’ offices and pharmacies, so after getting the okay from your doctor, get the shot early in the season.
  2. Wash your hands with soap and warm water. Every time you shake hands with someone, wash your hands afterward. Washing your hands prior to eating and touching your face is a crucial way to prevent the spread of harmful viruses and bacteria.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth. Cold and flu germs can easily infect you through your eyes and mouth. If you must touch your face, wash your hands first.
  4. Get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can comprise the immune system, making you more susceptible to illness. Aim for seven to nine hours each night.
  5. Work out. Not only is working out good for your cardiovascular system and weight management, staying fit boosts your immunity and helps you manage your stress levels, which is important for staying healthy in flu season.
  6. Keep hand sanitizer handy for those times when you don’t have access to soap and water. If you are out and about, keep a bottle of alcohol-based sanitizer in your bag or pocket to de-germ on the go.
  7. Don’t bite your nails. Germs lurk underneath your nails and biting your nails is just another way you can become infected with the cold or flu virus.
  8. Avoid people who are already sick. If someone is coughing or sneezing, keep your distance. Likewise, if you are sick and contagious, take time to rest at home so you can get better and not spread germs to those you come in contact with.
  9. Eat a healthy diet. Just like working out, eating right can have benefits for not only your weight, but also your immune system. Get your vital daily nutrients from fruits and vegetables to keep your immunity strong.
  10. Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of fluids – especially water – flushes toxins out of your system and keeps you healthy. If you do happen to get sick, staying well-hydrated is just as important for your recovery.

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