Ten ways to stay healthy during flu season

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As we approach that time of year for red, runny noses, coughing and congestion, here are 10 ways to minimize your exposure to germs that can develop into the common cold, flu, respiratory infection or the newly identified enterovirus.

  1. Remember the tip about singing “Happy Birthday” while scrubbing your digits? Wash your hands and wash often. Also, limit touching your face, nose and mouth as much as possible.
  2. We found a use for the inside of your elbows—a shield for coughing and sneezing.TB_10 ways to avoid the flu photo
  3. Many household cleaning agents are encouraging consumers to start “healthing” versus cleaning. Make this a practice in your home, office and work space by keeping disinfectant spray and wipes nearby to reduce the presence of germs on phones, desks, tools and other equipment present in these high-traffic areas.
  4. No one likes to get shots, but during flu season, this can be a key action in preventing this illness. Many people also opt for the nasal mist version of the flu shot.
  5. Feeling feverish? Stay home. People are most contagious when they are experiencing fever.
  6. Get plenty of rest. Fatigue and exhaustion make the immune system vulnerable. So, even if it’s just taking time to slow down for a day, give your body (and mind) time to rest and recover.
  7. Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. A healthy, balanced diet can help provide the vitamins and nutrients to strengthen your body’s defense against attacks on the immune system. Incorporating probiotics have been found to reduce the probability of developing a respiratory infection.
  8. Hydrate. Water can enable your body to better fight viruses. Caffeine and soda tend to work against your body’s ability to hydrate and slow bodily functions with sugar and high fructose additives.
  9. Get moving. Exercise can be a great way to boost the immune system while sweating out toxins and other potentially harmful waste in the body. Plus, a recent study found that overweight and obese people were more likely to fall ill or be injured, and researchers determined that higher BMI (body mass index) indicated an increased risk of injury and illness
  10. If diagnosed with any cold, flu or respiratory illnesses, finish the course of medicine prescribed by your doctor even if you are feeling better. Antibiotics are most effective when taken as directed by your doctor. Don’t take old medicine or medicine prescribed to someone else even if they have similar symptoms.
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