Do you know what to do to prevent the flu? While receiving your annual shot is the best way to avoid catching a virus, here are some simple additional ways you can protect you and your family to stay healthy this flu season.

Family Health | 9 months ago

14 Simple Tips Proven to Help Prevent the Flu

Do you know what to do to prevent the flu? While receiving your annual shot is the best way to avoid catching a virus, here are some simple additional ways you can protect you and your family to stay healthy this flu season. 

Do you know there are several things you can do to help prevent getting sick this season, or reduce how long your sickness may last if you do happen to come down with a bug? Here are some tips to help make the flu season more manageable for everyone.

Practice hand hygiene

Germs can spread from hands and surfaces to people and wounds. This can cause infections. Washing your hands is the best way to stop germs from spreading. “Practicing hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of germs,” says Ryan Shelton, MD, an internal medicine physician. “Washing your hands and keeping hand sanitizer with you are convenient, proactive ways to avoid catching the flu. It also helps to avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth. If you do get the flu, be sure to stay home for a few days, so you don’t spread it to others, because you’ll be very contagious." 

Eat more yogurt

The live cultures that help with digestion also help fight off colds. Researchers found that people who ate probiotics had 12 percent fewer upper respiratory infections.

Hands off your face

To decrease your chances of getting sick, avoid touching your face, eyes and mouth. Easier said than done: The average person puts a hand on her mouth or nose more than three times an hour.

Let in a breeze

Open a window to help circulate the air. It keeps airborne viral particles on the move and harder to catch.

Stay well rested

People who slept fewer than seven hours each night were almost three times as likely to catch a virus compared to people who slept for at least eight hours, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Watch out for sneezers

Did you know germs in sneeze particles can travel up to 20 feet? If someone starts to cough and sneeze, it’s OK to move to another seat.

Add zinc to your diet 

As soon as you start to feel sick, pop some zinc, an essential mineral that supports the immune system and helps minimize symptoms and reduce the duration of an illness. Shoot for about 75 milligrams per day.

Improve health with pressure points

To help boost T cell production – and to help fight off illness – try this acupressure technique: Gently tap the middle of your breastbone, at the level of your third rib, for about a minute every hour.

Breathe in essential oils

Add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to boiling water and breathe in the steam to help your airways feel less constricted.

Skip your workout

Exercise typically helps boost circulation, but if you have a severe cold or the flu, save your daily workout for when you’re feeling better. You’ll need all the energy you have to help to fight off the virus.

Gargle warm salt water

This helps kill pathogens and flush out germs. Combine a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water to ease swelling and loosen mucus.

Comfort yourself with chicken soup

The steam from this classic comfort food helps open nasal passages while the salty broth can soothe a sore throat.

Have some honey

Not only is honey thought to be antimicrobial, but its syrupy texture helps coat and soothe an irritated throat.

Sit up

To prohibit mucus from collecting in your sinus cavities, try resting at a 45-degree angle. It helps blood flow away from the head and reduces swelling of the sinuses and nose.

Do you think you have the flu? Know when and where to get the care you need. 

Cold and flu symptoms are typically caused by viruses. Learn more about bacteria, viruses and antibiotics here