Flu season is upon us ladies and gentlemen and if you have ever had the flu you know how painful the experience can be and would do what is necessary to avoid getting it again. I know you hear about it all the time at work and school, but I am here to discuss a few uncommon ways alongside the classic ways on how to prevent you or your loved ones from catching the flu.
Firstly, it is important to know that even if you feel like you personally have a slim chance of catching the flu if you live with children or elderly people you should be extra careful! Children and elderly people have significantly higher chances of catching the flu and symptoms can become more detrimental to their age groups and can lead to pneumonia.
Of course, we must mention the benefits of tea when it comes to flu season. The flu is an infection and antioxidants help to fight off infection. Teas such as green tea and select herbal teas are high in antioxidants that fight infections that are caused by viruses, bacteria and parasites. Drinking tea in general daily can give you the antioxidants as well as added ingredients such as ginger, lemons, herbs and spices (i.e. cinnamon and turmeric) can help your body fight infection. Tea also keeps the body hydrated, hydration helps to flush infection out. My go to cold and flu tea is ‘Ginger on My Mind’, check it out!
- GET STEAMY
This one may seem strange, but the body has a better chance of fighting infection when it is warm. When you get a fever, your body is trying to kill the infection with heat, so why not keep your body warm so that it can fight off any infections. Get sweaty – get your 30 minutes of exercise in daily; this one will not only keep the body warm and blood circulating, but it will also build your immune system which is essential to preventing infection. If you can’t make it to the gym try out some YouTube at home workouts! Cold weather doesn’t necessarily make you get sick but if the body is working hard to keep your organs warm it will not be able to work as hard to fight infection, bundle up!
- STAY CLEAN
Viruses have the ability to live and breed on surfaces. We have all heard the basics of washing your hands and coughing in your sleeves but here are few extra steps to take if you really want to avoid the flu. Wipe down your work stations, try not to touch your face during the day especially the eyes and mouth, wash bed sheets and disinfect phone screens regularly. Throughout the day you may be in contact with people who are sick or have the infection, avoid close contact and when you get home change your clothes right away!
Weirdly enough being happy and smiling has a significant affect on your immune system. This goes hand in hand with the fact that mental health can affect your physical health. High stress levels and depression can make you more vulnerable to infections. Try smiling – smiling sends signals to your brain that you are happy. Do things that make you feel good, spend time with people who make you feel good and put happy ingredients into your body. There are ingredients that can affect our mood; omega 3 that can be found in fish, vitamin D, turmeric, and St. john’s wort.
- The Flu Shot
Last but not least and the most commonly known – get the flu shot. In the wave of people who do not believe in vaccinations of course you have the choice of whether to get one or not, but the flu shot helps to safeguard against new strains of the flu. Influenza changes every year so the flu you had last year can be different than the one you get this year. As a healthy adult you can get away without getting the shot when you take care of yourself but that is not the case for all people, know yourself and make the best decisions!