Top 10 Flu Prevention Tips
With the proper care, your body can fight active flu viruses in your environment. Use these top 10 flu prevention tips to maintain a healthy immune system and to reduce common pathways of flu infections.
- Wash Your Hands – Frequent and thorough hand washing is your best defense against germs which may be lurking in your environment. To eliminate any flu viruses that have hitched a ride on your palms, wash your hands in warm water with regular soap for a full minute; wet wipes soaked in alcohol can be used to clean your hands on the occasions when hand washing is not possible.
- Avoid Touching Your Face – Little touches on your face near your eyes, nose and mouth create the perfect conditions for flu viruses to pass from your hands and into your body. If you must touch your face, use a handkerchief or a disposable tissue instead of your hands.
- Get Rid of Hidden Germs – The flu virus does not live long in the environment, but if someone in your home is ill it is important to kill any hidden flu germs as quickly as possible: frequently wipe down areas where germs can hide such as on doorknobs, computer mouse and keyboards and remote controls.
- Reduce Stress – Stress levels in the body can affect our immune systems and increase the risks for influenza illnesses. Lower your stress levels through meditation and breathing exercises, relaxing walks or professional massage therapies.
- Get Plenty of Sleep – A lack of sleep can lower your body’s defenses to illnesses and stress. To give your body a flu resisting boost, get to bed on time and if you feel like taking a nap on the weekends – go for it!
- Eat a Diet Rich in Vegetables and Fruits – Vegetables and fruits are rich sources of vitamins and antioxidants that can help to power up your immune system during flu season. The best flu fighting diet should contain colorful dishes which include a large selection of various vegetables and fruits.
- Drink Plenty of Fluids – Keep your body hydrated and in optimum operating conditions by drinking plenty of clear fluids throughout the day. Stay away from drinks high in sugar; drink water or light teas instead.
- Reduce Alcohol Consumption – Too much alcohol can cause dehydration and lead to an overworked immune system. During flu season, try to limit or cease alcohol consumption.
- Stop Smoking – Among the other ills which smoking may cause, this habit can also put a big dent on your immune’s system ability to resist the flu. Even worse, smoking can leave your lungs vulnerable to lower and upper respiratory infections.
- Consider a Seasonal Flu Vaccine – A flu vaccine cannot protect you from all types of influenza viruses, but it may offer some protection against the most common flu viruses that are circulating during flu season. Check the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if you may benefit from a flu vaccine.