Fall is almost here. That means leaves changing colors, sweater weather, football games, crisp air, and pumpkin-flavored everything. It also means the start of cold and flu season. Every year there seems to be a new variation of the flu virus. To allow you to enjoy the many great things about this time of year (and not the stuffy nose, painful cough, and fever), we’ve compiled a list of 5 tips for avoiding the cold and flu this year.
1. Go get a flu shot.
There are three basic types of the influenza virus, and each year there will be some variation of those three that causes the most trouble. Each year, experts research the virus and modify the flu vaccine to be specifically effective at preventing the strain that is believed to be the most widespread. You’ve probably heard the debates about getting flu shots. Although you might experience some minor flu symptoms for a few days after getting the shot, in the end you’ll be more protected and healthy.
2. Wash your hands often.
With germs all over the place, our hands can become pretty gross after touching door knobs, keyboards, and who knows what else. Washing your hands often can help keep these germs from getting you sick. When you wash your hands use soap and warm water, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds. Don’t hold back – scrub like a surgeon before surgery. Get between your fingers, the backs of your hands, and underneath your fingernails. Do this frequently throughout the day.
Exercise benefits the entire body, including your immune system. Exercise stimulates various chemicals in the brain that help you feel happy and relaxed. Regular exercise will speed up recovery from the cold or flu, and help prevent it in the first place.
4. Wash your hands…again.
Yeah, we know that we already mentioned washing your hands, but it’s that important. This is the number one method for keeping germs away, especially if you are around lots of other people at work, school, or on public transportation. You have no control over the amount of germs other people carry, but you can control your own hands.
5. Clean your home.
Germs can hide anywhere in your home. The floors, countertops, doorknobs, and upholstery can house germs, bacteria, and allergens. If there are things that get used a lot in your home, you should clean those things daily. The floors should be cleaned weekly. As we enter the beginning of the flu season, consider having your carpets and tile floors cleaned by a professional company such as Complete Chem-Dry of Lake Orion. Our carpet cleaning process has been proven to remove 89% of airborne bacteria, as well as 98% of allergens in carpet and upholstery.