Must-Read Tips for Surviving Cold and Flu Season

Most of us are going to get sick at least twice this year, so says the CDS. You can greatly reduce your chances of catching this season’s bug by following five easy tips for surviving cold and flu season.
1. Say Hi with a Fist Bump
It started off as the new high five that the cool kids do. Turns out, it is actually better for your health to give someone a fist bump rather than a handshake or a high five. Whether you’re meeting a new client or greeting an old friend, the back of your hand is far less germy than the palm of your hand.
Think of how many times you touch something that many other people touch. Every time someone touches the door to your office with their bare hands, germs are being transferred. Keep your hands to yourself and say it with a friendly fist.
2. Scrub Your Hands While Singing Happy Birthday Twice – Seriously!
Hand washing is guaranteed effective at killing germs. The trick is to do it the right way. Experts say that when you wash your hands you should scrub your palms, under your nails, between your fingers and the back of your hands hard for at least 20 seconds.
Using regular soap and cold or warm water will do the trick. To make sure you do it for a full 20 seconds, sing the birthday song twice.
3. Sanitize Things You and Other People Touch a Lot
You don’t have to spray down everything, but be sure to wash your hands and sanitize after you’ve been milling around the break room touching the microwave and refrigerator. Mind your hands by keeping them away from your face. Your eyes, ears, nose and mouth are entrance ramps for viruses and germs.
4. Do Healthy Things Year-Round – Like Sleep!
One of the best ways to survive flu and cold season is to do the little things year round that will keep you healthy come flu season. Those things include:

  • Getting between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night – You are 3X more likely to get a cold if you sleep less than 8 hours a day.
  • If you have allergies, get control meds – When your eyes are itchy, your nose is runny and your throat is scratchy, you are going to touch your face a lot. When your allergies are out of control, you are more susceptible to cold and flu viruses.
  • Being in the fresh air reduces your risk of catching a cold – Go outside or open a window to keep germy air moving out of the room.
  • Regular exercise keeps your immune system healthy – If you exercise at least three times a week throughout the year, you will have built up your defenses for flu season.

Your diet throughout the year will also influence your susceptibility to flu and colds. Experts suggest that fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants combat “free radicals” that weaken your resistance to colds.
5. Cover Your Cough and Sneeze with Your Sleeve – Not Your Hands
Lastly, when you cover your mouth, don’t do it with your hands. Cup your inner elbow around your mouth and cough into your sleeve. It will spare everyone around you from your heat-seeking sneeze germs that can travel up to twenty feet!

Feel free to share any other advice on how you can survive cold and flu season this year!


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