Benjamin Franklin once said, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Taking measures to stay healthy and practice good hygiene habits can pay off in the long run, especially during certain times of the year when viruses are spreading fast and everyone you know is coming down with some kind of bug. When flu season rolls around you’ll be ready with these Wellness Wednesday tips and tricks for better health.
Get Your Flu Shot
One of the best steps you can do to keep yourself healthy in the winter months is to get an annual flu vaccination. Flu vaccines are cheap, relatively easy to access, and have a proven safety record. It’s important to update your vaccinations each year because flu viruses are constantly evolving. A shot that may have been effective last year won’t do you any good for the latest round of viruses.
Maintain Good Hygiene Habits
There are certain good hygiene practices that will serve you well year-round: wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and avoid close contact with others who appear sick when you can. Be aware of the surfaces you touch and don’t be afraid to carry around and use some hand sanitizer. If you feel under the weather, STAY HOME. It’s also important to avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose because it’s very easy to contaminate and spread germs through those areas.
Staying hydrated is critical no matter the season, but it’s especially important during flu season. Dehydration can impact your immune system and make it less effective at fighting off infections and illnesses. The flu itself dehydrates you, making your body burn through fluids at a rapid clip. Keep your internal engines rumbling smoothly by drinking plenty of water every day. If you’re starting to get sick of water, freshen it up with a few slices of lemon. Don’t forget that decaffeinated tea and soups are also an excellent source of hydration.
Take Zinc For A Bit
Zinc is a mineral that can help bolster your immune system. If you’re starting to feel a sickness coming on or if there’s a bug circulating at your office, taking some zinc tablets as a preventive measure could help steady you through the worst of it. Just make sure you don’t take more than 40mg of zinc a day unless prescribed by a doctor. An excess of zinc in your system can decrease the amount of copper your body can absorb.
Eat Right & Get Plenty Of Rest
Sleep deprivation and vitamin deficiencies can lead you wide open to flu viruses. Make sure you get your regular 6-8 hours of sleep every day and eat a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients. Eating right and feeling well-rested will also help ease your stress, and keeping your stress levels done is another critical part of flu prevention.
Don’t skimp on your outdoor time, either: a low level of vitamin D has often been linked to our susceptibility to illnesses. A little bit of the “sunshine vitamin” every day can help fortify you against the perils of flu season.
Know The Signs
Knowing the symptoms for the flu will not only help you identify it when you start experiencing them yourself: it’ll also make you more attuned to your environment and aware of sick people around you.
Common signs of the flu include:
- High fever
- Severe body aches
- Sore throat
- Extreme tiredness
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
Article by Austin Brietta
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