This time of year, people start to anticipate the colds and Flu that are lurking everywhere. You don’t have to end up sniffling, sneezing, blowing your nose or aching. Here are 10 ways you can prevent the ickies from hitting your family this winter:
1. Washing up. Washing your hands frequently is the easiest way to prevent getting ill. The simple way to know you are killing germs is to wash in warm water with soap and sing the “happy birthday” song twice, or for about 30 seconds. Get yourself and your family in the habit of doing this several ties a day for no reason at all, maybe at certain times. Also, keep hand sanitizer in your purse for on the go germ fighting. You might also want to throw a mini sanitizer in your kid’s backpacks as well. You can make an Easy DIY Hand Sanitizer that isn't as harsh on your skin as the store-bought products.
2. Eat healthy with less sugar. Eating less refined sugar actually boosts your immune system and makes it easier for your body to guard you against the colds and flu out there.
3. Stay active. Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean it’s time to lump on the couch. Go sledding, cross country skiing, or even just walking the dog in the brisk air a couple times a week. Try to get fresh air and not just stick with indoor exercises as indoors is where many of these germs are.
4. Make sure you get plenty of rest. When your body is run down, your immune system is as well and you are more likely to get ill. Take advantage of the warm blankets and cozy times and get a lot of rest.
5. Be extra careful of others when in public. There is no need for a mask, but try not to be where lots of people are for long periods of time and if you must, wash your hands frequently. As an extra precaution, consider carrying sanitizing wipes in your purse to wipe surfaces such as shopping cart handles.
6. Eat immune boosters. Foods such as carrots, citrus, garlic and even salmon are great for giving your body that extra boost it needs to fight off any germs before they make you sick.
7. Stay away from others who are sick. If you know of someone who is ill, don’t take chances. Stay away until that person is feeling better. If you want to offer comfort and support, they are just a phone call, email or text away.
8. Help little ones understand that some kinds of sharing is not healthy. Encourage them to not share food, or drinks and avoid the dreaded “double dipping” with holiday foods such as chip dips.
9. Make a habit of sneezing into your elbow or shoulder, even when you are not ill. You are less likely to get ill and most importantly spread illness the less often you do so in your hands. If most people did this, many illnesses wouldn’t spread.
10. If you do get ill, or one of your family members does, keep it somewhat quarantined by not allowing tissues to stack up, frequent disinfecting of common surfaces such as door knobs while ill and after and washing hands.
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