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Combat Sickness During Flu Season

Posted by Patti Sciulli on February 19, 2018

Each year, the typical adult can expect to contract 2 to 3 colds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Skip the flu vaccine and you set yourself up for a bout of that as well.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Aside from good hand washing (with soap and water for at least 20 seconds), there’s a lot you can do to drastically cut your risk of getting sick. And even if you do catch a bug, you may be able to cut short the duration of your illness.

Arm yourself with a few of these tips from experts and make this cold and flu season your healthiest yet.

  1. Crack open a window. Spending the day in a stuffy room with anyone who’s under the weather raises your risk of catching a bug. Letting a little fresh air circulate keeps airborne viral particles on the move, making them harder to pick up.
  2. Go for a brisk walk. Exercise can boost your immune function, which may keep you from getting sick. A recent study found that people who exercised 45 minutes or more at a time – about 4 times per week – took 25% -50% less time off work during flu and cold season compared with couch potatoes.
  3. Quit touching your lips. You might as well lick a restroom door. Not touching your face greatly cuts your odds of getting sick. Even if you wash your hands frequently, touching your nose and eyes isn’t a smart idea. They are the most common areas through which germs enter the body.
  4. Score regular sleep. Take advantage of longer nights and log enough shut-eye. Subjects who slept fewer than 7 hours were nearly 3 times as susceptible to colds as people who slept for at least 8 hours.
  5. Load up on liquids. Fluid helps thin out the mucus that your body makes when you’re sick. And when that germ-filled mucus is thinner, it’s easier to clear out of your system. Good choices are water, orange juice, or hot liquids that can ease a sore throat, such as tea or chicken soup.
  6. Call in sick. Although it’s tempting to be a trooper, the truth is no one wants to see you in the office while you’re coughing, sneezing, and likely to infect everyone around you. Instead, take time to relax. Stress, no matter what the cause can interfere with the immune system function, leaving you even more vulnerable to threats like the flu.

“Health and Fitness are not about being better than someone else- It’s about being better than you used to be.”

Patti Sciulli is JCC Group Exercise/Wellness Director. Questions? Fill out the Contact Form below and she’ll get back to you shortly. 

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