Tips for Staying Healthy During Cold & Flu Season

Cold and flu season generally peaks in the winter months, but the timing and duration of flu symptoms vary.  In general, the cold/flu season starts in November and goes through March.  Here are some easy tips to keep you and your loved ones healthy during cold and flu season.

Girl in winter clothing sneezing

  1. Exercise daily. It helps boost your immune system. In fact, studies show moderate exercise can help reduce the number of colds you get in a year by up to 25 to 50 percent.

  2. Keep your hands away from your face. The average person touches their face two to four times in a given minute. When germs are running rampant, that’s a fast-track to a cold or other viruses. These viruses enter your body through your mouth, nose and eyes. So it’s a good idea to keep your face hands free.

  3. Wash your hands. Often. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the number one thing you can do to prevent a cold is to wash your hands. getty_rf_photo_of_soapy_handsDuring cold and flu season we’re constantly in contact with all kinds of viruses—on door knobs, stair rails, and even other people. Remember to wash with regular soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds—that’s how long it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” two times. Scrub your palms, between your fingers and underneath your nails. And it’s just as important to dry your hands on a clean towel.

  4. Eat a healthy diet. Getting a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of living a healthy life, but it can also help boost your immune system. Look for foods rich in vitamin C (think broccoli, strawberries and oranges) and D (like tuna, fortified milk and cereals). Foods with quercetin, which is found in red apples, broccoli and green tea, can also give you an immunity boost.

  5. Get your vitamins. Though it’s a myth that vitamin C prevents the common cold, getting enough vitamin C and other vitamins can help build a stronger immune system. Fresh fruits and vegetables are a great source of many different vitamins to boost your immunity.

  6. Get plenty of rest.  Sleep is one of the best ways to help you stay healthy. A good night’s rest will help improve your immunity.keep-calm-and-get-your-flu-shot-15

  7. Don’t skip your flu shot. The Center for Disease Control maintains that getting your flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. It’s true even in a year where the vaccine may not be the best match to the strain of flu going around.

Thank you Lindsey Nichols, RN Branch Manager, Divine Home Care – Benson for contributing this blog post.