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Oct 28, 2014

How to Stay Healthy During the Cold and Flu Season

From late fall to around early spring, you may have noticed that almost everybody you know seems to start getting sick. This time of year, affectionately known as cold and flu season, can be a breeding ground for germs, and you could be at risk for infection if you don’t take the proper precautions.

So what are those precautions exactly? We’re glad you asked.

1) Get your flu shot    
Flu viruses are constantly changing and mutating, doing their best to fight new vaccines and spread across populations. Getting an up-to-date flu shot is a big first step to fighting off the flu during the colder months.

2) Wash your hands
Your mother always told you to wash your hands. Turns out, that was great advice. Each day, you come in contact with all kinds of germs, cold and flu among them. They could be sitting on your desk at work, resting on a door handle, getting passed on by a handshake or a pat on the back – there are thousands of things you touch during the day that can ultimately spread germs. That’s why it pays to wash your hands – often.

3) Avoid people who are sick
This one is probably common sense, but it bears mention. By avoiding people who are already sick, you decrease your chances of catching whatever it is they have. If you have to work with someone who’s sick, keep your distance and try not to come into physical contact.

4) Keep your environment clean
You don’t have to go crazy cleaning everything in sight, but during cold and flu season, it can be a good idea to regularly wipe down door knobs, light switches and other elements that come in contact with many different people throughout the day. Antibacterial soaps and cleaners do a good job at sanitizing these high traffic areas.

5) Live a healthy lifestyle
We should all be doing this anyway, but during this time of year, it’s especially important to keep a close eye on your health. Remember to eat healthy, get plenty of sleep, don’t smoke and keep any allergies you have under control. If your allergies do flare up, see your doctor. Bad allergies can inflame your upper respiratory tree and make you more susceptible to viruses.

6) Buy some alcohol-based hand sanitizers
Use sanitizers when old-fashioned soap and water aren’t available. They’ll do in a pinch and help limit the spread of germs.