Tips to Avoid the Flu Flu season is upon us. While cold and flu viruses can happen any time, this is the time of year when cold and flu season is in full-blown mode. As you might be following in the news, we are having a particularly bad flu season this year. There are a few things you can and should be doing to take extra precautions to prevent you and your family from getting sick. Here are a few tips to help you get through the season: Wash Your Hands The number one way to prevent the spread of germs is to wash your hands. The proper way to wash your hands is to use soap and warm water. Scrub your hands for 20 seconds (sing the ABC’s). Rinse well with clean running water and dry with a clean paper towel. Shut off the faucet with another clean towel. Use a paper towel to also open the bathroom door. Use Hand Sanitizer Hand sanitizer does not replace hand washing but if hand washing is not an option, utilize alcohol based hand sanitizer. Rub your hands together well and allow time to dry. Cover That Cough/Sneeze Be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if available or cough/sneeze into the bend of your elbow. Covering your nose and mouth with your hands is better than not covering it at all, but then make sure to wash your hands. Avoid Touching Your Face Germs love areas where they can get into the body. For this reason, avoid touching your face. Don’t put your hands anywhere near your face unless they are washed. Don’t Share Food/Beverages While it’s nice to share with others, not everyone may practice good hygiene. Avoid pitch-ins and community bags of snacks/candy unless they are pre-packaged. Keep lunch areas clean and wipe counters/tables with disinfecting wipes/spray. Get the Flu Shot If recommended by your primary care provider, get the flu shot! Annual flu shots are a good way to prevent the spread of the flu virus, especially if you are more susceptible to viruses due to a weakened immune system. If you are not sure you should receive a flu vaccine, ask your primary care provider. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated You are what you eat. Eat a well-balanced diet to help strengthen your immune system. Eating a diet balanced with fresh fruit, veggies, whole grains and lean protein will provide the body with a constant supply of nutrients to fight off illness. Keep hydrated with plenty of fluids, especially water, your body needs water to help flush out toxins. Get Plenty of Rest Being tired and worn down due to lack of sleep can decrease the effectiveness of your immune system. Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep a night. Don't Spread the Love If you have a fever, stay home! There’s no need to spread the love to fellow coworkers. If you must come to work sick, take extra precautions such as wearing a mask or gloves to avoid spreading germs. Get Plenty of Exercise Exercise is amazing. Exercise will help boost your immune system and makes recovery from illness, faster. Plus exercise can boost your energy and improve your attitude. If you are experiencing cold/flu symptoms and are not getting any better or have concerns with symptoms, seek medical attention. Stay Healthy!
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