Having the flu is the worst; it can make you feel lethargic, weak, and achey on top of all of the symptoms of a cold. As that time of year gets closer, you may want to make some notes on these ways to survive flu season, because when flu season starts, there's no stopping it and the beastly illness spreads like wildfire.
You can almost see it happening — one of your colleagues comes to work looking dreadful, they begin to sneeze around their workspace, and that's it. The flu descends upon you and your unsuspecting colleagues and leaves you all stumbling around with misty heads. If you manage to evade the flu at work, it can and will find you at home. You may come home from the office one evening to find your SO curled up on the couch with a blanket and a crusty nose, or you might go to visit your parents who open the door to you looking like death and proceed to invite you in for a homecooked meal.
Someone you care about is going to get the flu this season, but there's no need to barricade the doors and windows, just take heed of these tips in order to escape the dastardly flu this winter.
1. Keep Your Phalanges Fresh
Just take a minute to think about all of the surfaces, objects, and other people your hands come into contact with every day. You touch your phone, your computer keyboard, escalators, and handrails while commuting, elevator buttons, tables, shared coffee cups, office pens... the list could go on. If you imagine all of the maybe millions of people who have also come into contact with these objects and surfaces, you begin to realize just how much you're putting yourself at risk of flu if you don't regularly wash your hands. According to WebMD, germs can live on any surface for two hours or more, so don't forget to regularly wash your hands with warm, soapy water to keep the bugs at bay.
2. Boost Your Immune System
Start making steps now to give your immune system a much needed boost. Why wait until it's too late and you're already sick when you can put plans into place now? There are many ways to boost your immune system from making sure to stay hydrated, increasing your alkaline intake, and even having a bout of laughter. Read up on how to boost your immune system before flu season is in full swing.
It seems regular exercise is the answer to everything nowadays, but with so many physical and mental health benefits, it's easy to see why many experts recommend it. Dr. Mercola informed readers, "When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads. This includes (but is certainly not limited to) seasonal colds and influenza." Choose an exercise that you enjoy and you can commit to regularly to help your body fight off the flu.
4. Get Enough Rest
During the festive season it's way too easy to burn the candle at both ends and not get enough sleep. According to The National Sleep Foundation, sleep could be the best prevention for colds or flu, explaining that sleep deprivation has an adverse effect on immune function, and chronic sleep loss can increase an individual's vulnerability to infectious diseases. So head home early from your midweek night out or switch off Netflix and start counting sheep instead.
5. Get Some Fresh Air
Get wrapped up warm and go for a brisk walk outdoors. If you can't spend time outside, open a window to get fresh air flowing through your home or place of work. "Spending the day in a stuffy room with anyone who's under the weather raises your risk of catching a bug. Letting a little fresh air circulate keeps airborne viral particles on the move, making them harder to pick up." Dr. Phillips, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough told Health.
6. Have More Sex
Did you know you can fight the cold and flu season with sex? Awesome, right? According to CBS News, a study out of Wilkes University found that sex boosts immunity, and another found that it decreases stress, which makes colds more likely. Seems like a win, win situation to me.
7. Utilize Your Technology
There are a bunch of apps that can help you through flu season. Take for instance the FluView Influenza-Like Illness Activity app created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This clever app helps you explore Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) Activity Levels across the US and view trends. On a similar note, the Sickweather app scans social networks for indicators of illness and maps illnesses nearby and across the country to help you to avoid getting sick.
Arm yourself against colds and flu this winter by heeding these defensive tips and prepare for the invasion.