5 Simple Strategies to Prevent Colds and Flu this Winter
We’re in the heart of winter and it’s inevitable someone in your family will get a cold or come down with the flu. The stuffy nose, fever, muscle aches and pains, fatigue, coughing, tough to breathe, sneezing and the dreaded headache are all symptoms of the flu. They can make you feel cranky, miserable and derail you for several days.
Ever notice when someone sneezes that a spray of droplets invades the area? A single sneeze can produce tens of thousands of droplets, which can exist your mouth with great velocity. Many of these droplets remain airborne and permeate a room. If you happened to inhaled these virally infected droplets, you can quickly come down with the flu. Here are a few preventative measures and simple strategies to keep you well this winter.
Wash Your Hands Often
Because we touch multiple things during the day from door handles to car doors to coffee pots to microwaves to toilets to computer keyboards to elevator buttons to shopping carts, etc, it’s necessary to wash our hands often. These surfaces are usually unsanitary and contaminated with germs and who knows what, that can make us sick.
Avoid Touching Your Face
Many people compulsively touch their face unconsciously. Some research suggests that we touch our face an average of 2 – 5 times a minute. Let’s say we touched our face 2 times a minute — that’s 2,880 times a day. That’s insane, but if you observe yourself, you’ll find your hands will ineluctably touch your eyes, nose, eyebrows, hair, and lips without you realizing these rout actions.
Cough and Sneeze into your Elbow
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people sneeze into their hands and then go about touch other objects without washing their hands. If you sneeze or cough into the bend of your elbow, you’re containing your spray and keeping your hands cleaner. It’s far less likely your elbow will come into contact with people or surfaces.
Avoid Touch Public Surfaces
Restaurant tables, store counters, school desks and public washrooms are surfaces with would come into contact often. Some restrooms at big box stores have sensor taps and auto soaps, but if they don’t just use a paper towel to turn off the faucets. Many also do not have doors, so you can exit freely. I always wash my hands, dry with a paper towel, turn off the faucet and use the same towel to turn the doorknob; most places strategically have a wastebasket there.
Most of us don’t want to hear this, but exercising moderately for 45 minutes at least 5 times a week can significantly reduce attracting colds and the flu. Walking, yard work and chores will boost immune function.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.