It’s winter again and with that comes the annual host of coughing, sneezing, sniffling, aching and copious amounts of tissues. Besides committing yourself to total isolation, what can you do to avoid this season’s flu and cold du jour?
- Get Vaccinated
Of course, a flu shot should be at the top of your list. According to a seven-year AARP study, those aged 60-plus who got a flu shot were up to 58% less likely to get the virus.
- Better Sleep = A Better Shot
That’s right, if you’re low on zzzz’s the vaccine’s effectiveness may suffer. According to one study, people who got less than six hours of sleep a night were 12 times more likely to be left unprotected by the vaccine than those who were logging in seven or more hours per night.
- Keep Your Hands To Yourself
During cold and flu season, remind yourself to keep your hands away from your eyes and nose, as these are the most common germ portals. Be a vigilant hand-washer whether it’s with soap and water or a hand sanitizer. And, if at possible, steer clear of ill family and friends.
- Make Your Tea Green
Studies indicate that green tea may boost the immune system and help prevent upper respiratory tract infections and flu.
- Move It
Don’t neglect your exercise routine this winter. According to one study, regular exercise may cut your risk of colds and upper respiratory illness by almost half. Wondering if you should exercise when you’re not feeling well? Mild to moderate exercise may actually help you feel better. Experts say that it’s usually fine if your symptoms are above or in the neck, such as a pesky runny nose or a minor sore throat. If symptoms are below the neck – a bad cough, chest congestion, upset stomach – than it’s best to skip your daily jog.