Avoiding The Plague

How not to catch a cold.

No one wants to get sick. Short of going full hermit for the cold and flu season, there is not much you can do to prevent being exposed to germs. Luckily there are lots of things you can do to limit your exposure and bolster your immune system to help you not get sick when you have been exposed.
Sanitation 101
If she told the once she told you 1000 times, wash your hands! It turns out Mom was onto something. Hand washing is one of the easiest ways to prevent picking up cold and flu germs. So wash well, wash frequently, bathe in hand sanitizer if that makes you feel better.
What mom didn’t tell you, or maybe she did. Sanitizing public items that you come in contact with such as shopping carts and baskets can also greatly reduce your exposure to the germs left behind by others. Carry sanitizing wipes with you or use the ones provided in the lobby.
Personal Fortification
No I’m not talking about a pillow fort.  Though taking refuge in one during the height of cold and flu season will certainly help you avoid those nasty germs, sadly, a more adult approach is required. When it comes to preventing a cold or the flu your first and best defense is a healthy you.
Nourishment
In a perfect world we’d all be drawn to a well balanced nourishing diet. Let’s face it, we live in the real world, filled with delicious but hardly nutritious temptations. Few of us get all the nutrients our bodies need by eating enough fruits and veggies. So my first bit of advice when it comes to nutrition again comes from Mom, Eat Your Veggies! And since we both know you’re not gonna do that, add a daily multivitamin. I especially recommend getting enough of vitamins C and D during cold and flu season.  Personally, if I know I’ve been exposed to the ick, I double up on my normal dose of Vitamin D for a couple of days.

Hydration
There is no way around it, our bodies need water to function. Making sure you are properly hydrated allows your body to put forth it’s best defensive tactics, keeping mucus membrane barriers lubricated and actively engaged and cells functioning fluidly. So drink it up! Adding lemon, lime, or some other fruit can help entice the palate and adds a touch of vitamin C to your diet too.

 

Rest
Yeah I know, there is so much to do after the kids finally go to bed. Binge watching Netflix, cleaning up the daily chaos, reading a good book, Facebook stalking your closest friends and enemies, quiet (or not so quiet) time with your spouse, watching cat videos on youtube, the list goes on and on and on. Resist the temptation to stay up all night indulging and make a genuine effort to get eight solid hours of sleep each night.

It’s in the Air
Since one of the primary ways to transmit cold and flu germs is by breathing them in, it makes sense to talk about how the air we breathe can help us be healthier or not.

Get Some
By some I mean fresh air and sunshine. There’s no denying that a daily dose of fresh air and sunshine is good for our overall health and well being. So take a minute or 20, take a walk, sit on a bench in the sun, whatever floats your boat, just get out there!  (Bonus points for fresh air and sunshine on a boat!)

Avoid Some
If you are somehow immune compromised or want to be particularly cautious about not getting sick, avoiding breathing the air in crowded public areas is advised. Since we can’t do that and continue to live, I recommend picking up an oft overlooked fashion accessory, the surgical mask. It may get you some strange looks, maybe even a question or two, but you won’t get sick. As a bonus, the lookers and questioners won’t be able to tell that under that mask you’re sticking your tongue out.

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