Flu season is always the time of the year that we dread the most. Missing work and school, the inability to eat or get out of bed and the constant body aching and pain is enough to make you go insane. Unfortunately, because of the many different strains of the flu, the flu shot may not always prevent you from catching it. Luckily, there are some ways to stay healthy this flu season, whether you already have the flu or are trying to prevent it. These 6 tips will put your body in flu fighting shape.
Wash your hands
Washing your hands is the easiest way to prevent illness. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to hand soap and water, you can substitute a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content. Washing your hands regularly is a good habit. You should always wash your hands after using the bathroom, before preparing food or eating food, after sneezing and coughing and after taking out the garbage.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose
The eyes, mouth and nose are easy passageways for infection. During flu season, it is easy to catch the flu after you’ve been around contaminated objects and people. It is very important to wash your hands regularly and keep them away from your eyes, mouth and nose while out in areas with a lot of people and germs.
Stress causes a lot of harm to your body. From headaches to insomnia, heartburn to high blood pressure, stress has many negative effects. When it comes to your immune system, stress takes no prisoners. Continuous stress causes your immune system to become compromised. When you have a weakened immune system, your white blood cells don’t do their job properly, leaving you vulnerable to infections. When this occurs, your body doesn’t fight off the infection as quickly as usual. Do yourself a favor, and lessen your stress!
Get enough sleep
Sleep rejuvenates your body and mind. When you don’t get enough sleep, your immune system is compromised. This increases your risk for illness and infection. When your immune system can’t do its job properly, then your body takes longer to recover from infection, leaving you in a vulnerable state. When you get proper sleep, your body is cleansed of toxins and your brain functions better. Most adults need about seven to nine hours of sleep in order to get the full benefits that sleep has to offer.
Nourishing your body with good fuel is always key to keeping your immune system up. Eating foods with plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats and low-fat dairy all fill your body up with proper nutrients and antioxidants that keep your immune system on point.
Certain foods have properties that are perfect for preventing the flu. Blueberries, yogurt, broccoli and garlic are great immune system boosters. Blueberries are full of antioxidants and contain properties that mimic antihistamines. Yogurt has live and active cultures that restore your immune system with healthy bacteria. Broccoli is loaded with Vitamin C, a staple in combating flu and colds. Garlic is a powerful antioxidant that also has antiviral and antibiotic properties. Now get ready to go shopping and fill up on these flu-fighting foods!
Exercising has many benefits that have a positive affect on your overall health. When you exercise, your immune system strengthens, allowing your white blood cells to move faster and get rid of infection more effectively. Exercise also contributes to less stress and better sleep, making it even more important to add to your daily routine.