It’s cold and flu season, which means it’s never been more important to treat your body well and give it what it needs to fight off any virus that comes near it.
Flu season is upon us and this year the risk seems to be especially high. Whether kids are bringing germs home from school or the contagion of the communal fridge at work is putting a hamper on your weekends, know that the best ways to stay healthy are often the easiest.
Remember, viruses and bacteria thrive on dehydration and exhaustion so getting a good night’s sleep, eating well and drinking often is a MUST for this year’s flu and cold season. With coronavirus beginning to spread to new areas, here are five ways to boost your health on a minimal budget with maximum payout:
Your best defense against germs is hand-washing for at least 20 seconds. While hand sanitizers can be convenient, experts recommend what you’re using has at least 60% alcohol to be most effective at stopping spread disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states on their website, “Regular hand washing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.” While twenty seconds can seem like an eternity, taking the time to really lather and scrub can eliminate the germs on your hands and under your nails. Don’t forget to grab a towel or use an elbow to open the restroom door- germs love the handle!
Eating well is one way to not only have a healthy body and mind but keep the common cold and flu at bay as well. By eating fruits and veggies, you’ll boost the immune system and give your body extra power to fight germs that come your way. Allina Health, a national health organization, recommends eating foods that are probiotic (think yogurts and unpasteurized sauerkraut,) along with keeping a healthy diet that includes fruits, veggies, and lean proteins.
One of the most common complications of sickness is dehydration; not all beverages are created equal! Coffee and soda can weaken the body, while water and decaffeinated green tea can help the body retain (and regain) important fluids.
To stay well, Mayo Clinic recommends about 2.7 liters of fluids a day for women and 3.7 liters for men, which can seem like drinking an ocean. Mayo explains their logic by stating that foods rich in hydration (juicy fruit, for instance,) can count as liquid as well. While Mayo stated 8 glasses of water each day was a good start, they added the caveat, “for some people, fewer than eight glasses a day might be enough. But other people might need more.
A lack of sleep can wreak havoc on your immune system. The National Sleep Foundation believes that sleep is one of the best defenses against the common cold or flu. They recently shared on their website, “Poll data shows that on average, newborns to l0-year-olds don’t even meet the low range of recommended hours of sleep each night, while two-thirds of older adults say they suffer from frequent sleep problems, including insomnia, which often prevent them from getting a good night’s sleep.”
Most experts suggest at least 7 hours for the average adult, offering advice to pay attention to your body and sleep more as necessary. While getting a truly good night’s sleep can be difficult, it’s one of our best defenses against sickness.
Be cautious of germs
How often do you wipe the items you use every day? From phones to doorknobs, germs can live on surfaces sometimes for days. In a pinch and looking for items that are anti-bacterial to clean with? Vodka, white vinegar, lemon, and hydrogen peroxide all have anti-bacterial elements. A simple cleaner of white vinegar and distilled water works well for most surfaces and leaves no smell. Add a few drops of essential oil or leave as-is when cleaning light switches, doorknobs, phones and toilet handles.