So far 2017 has provided one of the worse flu seasons for decades, leading to thousands of Americans catching the unpleasant bug and tragically even some fatalities.
The flu is a very serious illness, far worse than the common cold. With the flu you can be unwell and unable to work or go about your everyday activities for multiple days, in some cases even weeks. Preventing the flu is on many people’s agendas, but with so much conflicting evidence out there on what works and what doesn’t, it can be very confusing when trying to determine how to prevent the flu.
To make it a little easier for you this year, we’ve rounded up some of the most effective ways you can prevent yourself from getting this debilitating disease:
1. Get Your Flu Shot
This may sound like an obvious flu prevention tip, but many people still fail to get their flu shot each year. A flu shot will inject you with small amounts of the predicted common flu strains for that flu season, which can enable your body to build up immunization against these strains. Although there’s no guarantee that you still won’t get the flu after having a flu shot, statistically it will dramatically reduce your chances – making it one of the most reliable flu prevention options available. Most flu shots are very inexpensive or completely covered by your insurance and often can be completed at your local pharmacy or drugstore.
2. Eat a Healthy Diet
Research continually indicates that a healthy diet can help reduce the likelihood of contracting both the common cold and the flu. Healthful foods such as fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins that can help boost your immune system, which can make it easier for your body to fight off flu viruses. To make your diet healthier try to uptake your daily leafy greens intakes and add more vitamin rich fruits to your diet. Also try to cut back on processed foods as much as you can, and your body should then be much more prepared successful influenza prevention.
3. Exercise Regularly
Breaking out a sweat regularly won’t just help you look better; it will also help you boost your immune system. Scientific evidence has indicated that people that exercise moderately several times a week are more likely to have stronger immune systems than those that don’t. So even if it’s cold outside this flu season, be sure to still regularly exercise and this should not only benefit your health but also help you avoid packing on the pounds.
4. Wash Your Hands Consistently
One of the easiest ways to contract the flu is to obtain flu germs through the hands. Kill these germs before they manage to infect your body by washing or sanitizing your hands regularly. This should particularly be practiced rigorously when you’re in public places and after you shake someone’s hands. If you don’t want to have to go to the bathroom every time you think you may have germy hands, keep a hand sanitizer at your desk or in your pocket. These can work very well at killing germs and are usually very cheap to purchase. Washing your hands regularly is a key component to avoid the flu.
5. Get Plenty of Sleep
Lack of sleep can easily weaken your immune system, making it essential that you get at least a solid 8 hours of sleep a night. If you find getting a good night of quality sleep a challenge, try meditation or listening to some relaxing music before you settle down for the night. Adding more exercise to your daily routine can also help you sleep more effortlessly, as your body will require more sleep in order to properly recharge for the next day. The prevention of influenza is reliant on a healthy immune system.
6. Stay Away from Sick People
This might sound a bit cruel, but it really is one of the best ways to avoid contracting this illness. If people at work have the flu and you can’t avoid working with them, try to avoid direct contact and regularly wash or sanitize your hands. What’s more, at the peak of flu season avoid going to crowded public places such as the movies or the mall, as there’s likely a whole minefield of germs just waiting to be caught at these bustling places.
Avoiding the flu can never be entirely guaranteed but your chances can certainly be reduced if you follow the above rules down to a tee. Good luck and stay healthy!