No one wants to get sick. Whether you’re planning a vacation, you really don’t want to take any time off of work, or you have a family to take care of, getting sick often means you can’t live up to your responsibilities, and it sometimes means you have to miss out on something fun.
Everyone wants to avoid getting sick, especially now that COVID-19 is a worldwide problem. It’s important to protect others and yourself from this illness, but it’s also important to try and protect yourself and the ones you love from other illnesses as well.
Here’s how to do just that.
Keep Things Clean
It is extremely important to keep your hands clean. That means washing them frequently and washing them properly. Make sure you wash between your fingers, the backs of your hands, and underneath your fingernails. To make sure you get rid of all those germs, you should scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Don’t have the time to wash your hands or don’t have access to a sink? Make sure you carry hand sanitizer with you and use it whenever you use frequently touched items, like door knobs.
Keeping things clean means keeping surfaces in your home and office clean too! Use cleaning supplies that are known to kill germs, and use these supplies frequently to clean kitchen countertops, door handles, and your desk at work.
Get the Flu Shot
Although it won’t prevent you from getting other illnesses, it is important to get the flu shot every year. The most immediate benefit is that it can prevent you from getting the flu. Even if you do end up getting the flu, if you’ve had the flu shot, you’ll notice that your symptoms are reduced.
Getting the flu shot comes with other benefits too. When you get it, you can reduce the risk of hospitalization for other children, working age adults, and older adults who may be susceptible to the disease, especially if they are unable to get the flu vaccine, or they simply didn’t get it that year.
Stay Away From Others Who Are Sick
COVID-19 has brought social distancing to the forefront. It involves staying at home as much as possible and staying at least six feet away from others at all times to reduce the transmission of illnesses.
Although COVID-19 has taken social distancing to the extreme, it is good to follow some social distancing practices during cold and flu season, especially if someone you’re exposed to is sick.
For example, if you’re standing in line at the pharmacy, give the person in front of you plenty of space, just in case they are picking up a prescription for a communicable disease.
Don’t be afraid to find a new workspace in the office if someone you sit near is coughing, and avoid hanging out with friends and family who have a cold or who have experienced an illness recently.
Avoid Sharing Food and Drinks With Others
Sharing food and drinks with others is a quick way to swap germs, which can become a huge problem if those germs are carrying an illness. Sharing food isn’t necessarily what you think it is either.
It includes avoiding sharing food, and especially beverages, with your children and significant other when they’re sick, but it also includes being more mindful in the office.
Items, like donuts and bagels, are often grab-and-go in the office, but that means some items may get touched but not taken. Encourage others to use a pair of tongs or a napkin when picking up community items, or avoid taking food from these kinds of displays altogether.
Move Your Body Regularly
Exercise is a great way to avoid getting sick. Regular movement can keep your bones healthy and strong, but it can also flush bacteria out of the lungs and airways, and it can boost your immune system. Not to mention, it can reduce stress, and lower stress hormones are able to protect you from illness.
Hit the gym or go for a run, but don’t think that exercising to prevent illness has to include high impact, stressful workouts. There are many ways to get exercise that include going for a walk, stretching the body, or cleaning your home from top to bottom.
Eat Healthy Foods
Food is the key to staying healthy throughout our lives, which means it’s also the key to preventing illnesses from taking hold in the first place. Choosing the right foods can support your immune system, while others can make you more susceptible to illnesses, like the cold and flu.
Some of the best immune-boosting foods include:
- Ginger tea
- Greek yogurt
- Wild salmon
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Whole grain bread
Avoid eating too much sugar that can throw off healthy bacteria in the gut, and avoid heavily processed foods that can increase your risk of heart disease and suppress your immune system.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Life gets busy, and one of the first things to go is often sleep. It’s much easier to cut an hour or two off of your evening routine in the name of getting a little more work done or catching up on your favorite show. Unfortunately, it could leave you open to getting sick more easily.
Your body needs rest in order to fight off germs so they don’t make you sick. Plan to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night.
You also need to listen to your body. Fatigue is often one of the first signs of illness, and if you give yourself some extra time to rest when your body feels tired, you may be able to recover without any major symptoms.
Sometimes, there isn’t anything you can do about getting sick, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to increase your chances of fighting off germs before they make you ill! Follow these healthy lifestyle tips and you’ll likely experience fewer colds, flu, and other illnesses.