Illness seems inevitable as we approach this time of year. Sooner or later we get the tell-tale tickle in our throat that quickly becomes a nightmare of watery eyes, runny noses, and endless nights of coughing. For those of us with children, this misery extends not only to our own bodies, but to our children as well. When they don’t sleep, nobody sleeps, and soon after that, we are all stumbling into the doctors office.
Doctors! They seem to magically move through masses of sick people and remain unscathed. How? Well, aside from the natural immunity they build up from being around so many sick people, we gathered tips from the pro’s on how to avoid using up your sick days by adopting healthy habits to stop the influenza virus from spreading. Here’s what they said!
5 Healthy Habits
Step 1: Clean Hands
Wash your hands more. Doctors say that they wash their hands after each and every patient, as well as routine bathroom washes, which would bring them to well over a dozen times a day. Use warm water and soap, and wash your hands for at least 30 seconds. If you don’t want to count that out, sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice.
Once you are done washing, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet. Remember, your dirty hands touched it to turn it on! In addition, use paper towel to open the bathroom door, especially in public restrooms. Not everyone washes their hands, remember, and you don’t want to pick up all their germs.
Step 2: Keep Things Clean
We often touch very germy surfaces without much thought. Car handles, steering wheels, door knobs, keyboards, and phones are some of the most germ covered items you’ll touch throughout your day. Take a time-out and clean things up a bit. Use alcohol wipes on your phone, keyboard, and even on your pens. Pay special attention to the items other people touch as well, like the door knobs.
Step 3: Sweet Dreams
Sleep more! Your immune system function is greatly impeded when you’re running on three hours of sleep and eight cups of coffee. Add an extra hour or so to your sleeping schedule. Your immune system will be better able to fight off the germs, and you’ll feel more alert throughout the day.
Step 4: Take Your Vitamins!
Most physicians agree that this vitamin C in particular is very helpful in empowering the immune system to combat invaders, especially following exposure to environmental stressors. Regularly consuming fruits and veggies high in vitamin C will help boost your immune system. You can start by eating dark leafy greens, kiwi, peppers, strawberries, guava, oranges, tangerines, and cruciferous veggies.
Step 5: Cover up
Dress warmly to avoid getting chilled throughout the day. The less your body has to work on keeping warm, the more energy it will have for fighting off germs! Dressing in layers allows you to bundle up when it starts getting chilly in the office.
For those of us who have a particularly compromised immune system, (people with auto-immune diseases, cancer patients, high risk pregnancies, etc) it may be wise to avoid frequent visits to public areas. Remember, the less you are exposed to germs, the less chance you have of contracting whatever virus the rest of us are carrying!
Check back with our blog regularly for more tips and healthy habits to keep your family healthy and happy all season long!