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Are you ready for flu season?
I love this time of the year. Leaves have changed color, the weather is a little cooler, and football season is in full force! Of course, synonymous with fall in winter is the big bad flu season. Between my job as a physical therapist (interacting with people all day long) and three kiddos attending the germ hole known as school, tis the season to catch a cold! But you don’t have to let the flu bug move in and make itself comfortable at your house this year – there are actually a lot of things you can do to prevent illness in your home. Today I wanted to share with you 10 of the most effective tips to keep you and your family healthy and strong this year. Check them out:
1. Wash your hands – The single most important thing that you can do to prevent illness is to wash your hands. Most of the flu – like illnesses we acquire are spread via contact. I touch a handle, doorknob, hand, etc that has the virus on it and -whammo!- I’m down for the count. Regularly washing your hands with soap and hot water throughout the day will rid your hands of these germs and help you to avoid contracting them via contact.
2. Carry hand sanitizer or with you
– For those times when you can’t get to the sink to wash with soap and water, it’s nice to have personal hand sanitizer to clean and disinfect your hands. Keeping your hands clean and avoiding contact with your eyes, nose, mouth, and ears is one of the best ways to prevent illness.
3. Get plenty of sleep – It is recommended that adults get at least eight hours of sleep each night (children are even more than that… 8-12 depending on their age). Sleeping is your body’s way to recharge and get ready for the next day. It is also the time when your immune system can focus on fighting off whatever foreign bodies it came in contact with that day. Getting a good night’s sleep gives your immune system a much welcome boost!
4. Eat your fruits and veggies
– Fresh fruits and bright-colored vegetables are essential in providing you with all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. It is recommended that adults get 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2–4 servings of fruit every day. This will ensure that your body is naturally getting the nutrients and energy that it needs to stay healthy and strong. (Need a delicious shot of delicious fruits and veggies? This “Cold Blasting Green Smoothie
” is just what you’re looking for!)
5. Take your vitamins
– Vitamin supplements are great way to give your diet the boost that it needs. Please note that I chose my wording carefully with that sentence – vitamin supplements
. Vitamins are meant to supplement an otherwise healthy, well – rounded diet. I personally take a multivitamin in the morning and a vitamin C pill at night with the intention that my body is constantly digesting vitamins and minerals that it needs to stay healthy and strong.
6. Get your flu shot – Now, not wanting to open up a whole can of worms with this one; I know immunizations can be a sensitive subject with certain people. However, I’m confident that flu shots exist for a reason and there is also a reason why your doctor recommends them. As a healthcare professional, I am actually required to get them every year in order to treat patients. When you receive a flu shot, you a essentially receive an inactive form of the closest match to the flu virus for that year. Your body then forms anti-bodies formed specifically to fight off this type of virus. That way, when the real thing hits you already have a “reserve Army” in your immune system that will attack this virus at first contact. This is a safe and effective way to be proactive against fighting off illness.
7. Keep it clean – As mentioned previously, the flu virus is primarily contracted via contact. Viruses can live on a surface for 8–72 hours (depending on the type of surface, moisture level, and temperature). One of the safest ways to prevent the spread of the flu virus is to eliminate it from surfaces that you touch often. Antiviral/antibacterial wipes and cleaners not only keep your house looking me and tidy, but also wiped out these nasty little buggers. Make sure you pay close attention to handles and other areas that are touched often (doorhandles, sinks/faucets, drawer pulls and cabinet handles, etc.).
– Oh – the numerous benefits of regular exercise! Working out regularly is not only linked to decreased heart and pulmonary disease, but also has been proven effective in fighting off the common cold and flu. So get your workout on this winter – not just to rock your swimsuit body next year, but to prevent sick days this winter! (Interested in some awesome workouts that you can do at home? Tone and Tighten has you covered! Click here for our collection of awesome at-home workouts
9. Keep your phone clean – One that every one of us is guilty of and not one of us ever thinks about! Think about how often you touch your phone’s screen. Think about how many surfaces you put your phone on. Now think about when was the last time you cleaned your phone with a disinfectant? Shocking, huh? With as much as you touch your phone and as many surfaces as it comes in contact with – it’s a veritable germ magnet. Wipe it down daily with a disinfectant wipe to increase your chances at avoiding the flu this year.
10. Drink plenty of fluids
– Staying hydrated can boost your immune response and help your body to better fight viruses. Individuals who are hydrated tend to enjoy better circulation and therefore better delivery of antibodies throughout their bodies. It is recommended that you drink at least 64 ounces of water per day (eight 8-ounce glasses). Click here for Tone and Tighten’s “Drink your water challenge
” to ensure you’re maximizing you liquid consumption.
While there will be plenty of viruses flying around this season , you don’t have to open your front door and welcome them in! Try out these ten tips to ensure you and your family enjoys a wonderful and healthy season.
Make it happen,