These days, colds and flu are a common problem especially in the wintertime when people are stuck indoors. To fight off these problems, you need to act fast. According to research by the University of Arizona, when someone is sick in the office, it takes only four hours for various surfaces in the room to have traces of the viral infection. As per statistics, the 2014-2015 flu season was one of the worst on record. It even reached epidemic status with millions affected by coughs, fever, and colds. Here are some things that you can do to reduce your exposure to unwanted viruses, colds, and the flu this winter.
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Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Avoid taking alcohol as much as possible. Alcohol can interfere with your sleep quality. Lack of quality rest and sleep can weaken your immune system. In addition, drinking alcohol before you sleep may disrupt REM sleep which is the restorative part of sleep.
Sip More Tea
Drink black or green tea with lemon and honey. Drinking warm tea and breathing in the steam is helpful in stimulating the cilia, which is the tiny hair follicles found inside the nose. Your nose is the body’s first line of defense when it comes to protecting you from germs. The cilia, snot, and boogers act together and they are responsible for collecting dirt, bacteria, and other debris before it can enter your body. The warm tea and lemon will help thin out the secretions. While, the honey is known to have some antibacterial functions and can help keep you from potentially coming down with upper respiratory infections caused by allergies or germs.
Increase the Amount of Protein
Studies show that diets that don’t include enough protein can cause low immunity. Increase your intake on protein-rich food throughout the day by eating food like eggs, fish, and yogurt.
The gym is crawling with dirty towels, sneakers and much more. Instead of using the equipment directly, or sitting on a mat or bench, place a clean, dry towel on it first. This will help you avoid contact with bacteria or germs that may cause colds and flu.
Sanitize Your Office Area
The office is a primary source of bacteria and viruses. Clean everything that gets touched by people, for example, fax machines, copiers, elevator buttons, microwaves, and armrests at least once a week. Even if it looks clean, you can never see the microscopic viruses that may be thriving on the surfaces. Also, Rhinoviruses can live on various surfaces up to 48 hours!
Increase Your Zinc Intake
Zinc is a trace element that is found naturally in nuts, beans, animal meat, fish, and seafood. Your body needs this trace element to help keep your immune system health. It can also help aid your body’s healing ability if you increase your zinc levels if you start feeling ill.
Drink More Fruit Juices
Consume more liquids to flush out toxins throughout the body. During cold and flu season, you can make your immune system stronger by drinking fruit juices. Juice some of your favorite food like kale, arugula, cucumber, carrots, oranges, apple, lemon, mint, and other fruits that are rich in vitamin C.
It is best to use a juicer instead of buying juice at the store. Most juice found in your grocery store only contains a small amount of real fruit juice and contain sugar.
Avoid Touching Surfaces
Keep your hands to yourself by not touching surfaces like railings on the stairs. After you touch these surfaces, you should always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. These surfaces are likely touched by hundreds of hands and it is highly likely that germs are on these surfaces. Germs including colds and flu can live on these surfaces for several days. Then you transfer those germs other surfaces even your own mouth without even realizing it.
Release the bad vibes and relax more often. Stress can lower your immune system which makes you susceptible to catching a cold or the flu.
When it comes to protecting yourself from colds and flu, you can make a lot of difference by following the tips mentioned above.