Cold and flu season is one of the scariest times of the year. It feels like there is this always a constant threat of germs, attacking you from all angles. No one wants to have to deal with the runny noses and sore throats that come with a cold. Even worse is the nausea, aches, and impossible exhaustion that comes with the flu. But there are a few ways that you can avoid it.
Sure, the flu shot exists, but nothing can protect you from that evil common cold. It feels like it's always lurking around the corner, just waiting for you to slip up. So here are the three most important things you can do to stay healthy and happy this cold and flu season, all of which are simple enough that everyone should be doing them.
1. Wash your hands and sanitize surfaces
Washing your hands may seem like a no-brainer, but sometimes people don't realize just how important it is. If you touch your face, even just to scratch an itch, your hands are picking up the germs you may have and then when you touch a door handle or stair railing you are potentially giving that virus to someone else. Alternately, someone else could be sick and when you touch your face you are putting those germs right up close so they can get into your system.
Obviously, you can't be washing your hands 24 hours a day, but if everyone was more cautious about washing their hands after blowing their nose or coughing, then we wouldn't have to worry so much. If you are out and about, touching things that you know strangers have had a lot of contact with, it's best to wash your handles thoroughly for 20 seconds with soap to make sure all the germs are gone before you eat or do anything that requires contact with your face.
You can't be on-guard all the time, but just keep your household sanitized, especially when someone is sick in the home, to prevent others from getting the illness as well.
That's not the only thing that you should be doing to help you stay healthy...
2. Never skip a workout
While you may thing that going out to the gym might just put you in more contact with germs, it's actually important that you keep up with a regular workout schedule because it will help you keep your immune system stronger.
Exercise has been proven to boost the production of cathelicidin, which helps to protect your body from germs. The better your immune system can fight off the germs, the less likely it is that you will catch a cold.
3. Check your Vitamin D intake
The problem with living in a northern climate isn't just that it's colder, you also end up getting a lot less sunlight. The shorter days mean that there is a lot less time to get the sun. Most of us spend all the daylight hours inside at work, so it's very important that we make sure we are getting enough of the important vitamin.
Vitamin D helps you fight off respiratory illnesses, so you need to make sure that you get your doctor to check your levels and then if it's low you should take a supplement to help out until the summer.