When cold and flu season hits this year, be prepared with some preventative action.
You can’t avoid every cold going around, but you may be able to minimize your family’s risk.
By following some of these health tips, maybe you can make it through the flu season unscathed.
Some are common sense, and some might take some effort, but the payoff of a healthy family is definitely worth it.
Prevention is always cheaper than the cure…
- Wash your hands frequently, especially when returning home from a public place. Stay away from “antibacterial” soaps with triclosan.
- Change your hand towels often. Using a common towel may pass germs from one person to another.
- Clean the places that harbor the most germs in your house.
- Get plenty of sleep. Not getting enough sleep will negatively affect your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable to cold and flu viruses. Be aware of what your body needs (8 hours may not be enough for some people), and supplement it with quick cat-naps of 15 to 30 minutes if you can.
- Stay hydrated. Living and working inside with the heat on really dries you out, and it’s harder to remember to drink water when it isn’t hot outside.
- Take your vitamins. Find a good whole-food based multivitamin for you and your family, especially if you aren’t eating as healthy as you should.
- Get some sunshine. Exposing yourself to the sun every day boosts vitamin D production and helps to lift your mood, which affects your immune response.
- Stay active. Regular exercise, especially vigorous exercise, keeps your body healthy and offsets our modern sedentary lifestyle.
- Be positive. Having a positive outlook may be one of the most important things you do for your health.
- Vitamin C. I am a big fan of Emergen-C. Just mix with water for a fizzy, energizing drink.
- Eat more fruits and veggies. Vegetables and fruits are nutritional powerhouses, and with citrus coming into season in the winter, eating lots of oranges is a cheap way to support your immune system.
- Use herbs for healing. Astragalus, osha root, echinacea, and elderberry extract are widely used and easily found in health food stores and co-ops.
- Get a massage. A massage will help to support your lymphatic system and flush toxins from your body.
- Take it easy on the coffee and alcohol. At the first sign of illness, try taking a break from coffee and alcohol to give your liver less to deal with.
- Just say no. When feeling less than optimal, do less, stay home from work if you can, and don’t over-commit. Make your health the highest priority.
- Avoid taking over-the-counter medications. Suppressing the symptoms through medication may make you feel temporarily better, but it’s usually best to let your body heal itself.
Here’s to a healthy cold and flu season!
Image: Steven Fernandez at Flickr under Creative Commons
Tell me more about the antibacterial soaps. My daughter’s JK class has these bottles all over the room. Every parent is asked to bring one in over the course of the year.
Sommer Green & Clean Mom says
I think the best tip you have up there is get more sleep but that’s one tip I’m going to find the hardest to accomplish.
William Thomas says
Thanks- I digg it!
The best proxy site says
the best tip is exercise,run and wash the nose by cold water!
Jennifer Lance says
I don’t believe in flu shots, plus the adult version still contain thimersal.
Sound advice, I would also add, that a daily hot drink of honey and lemon works wonders in staving off the dreaded colds and flu. It’s a great anti-oxidant and has antibacterial properties too!
Best advice is to get a flu shoot early on.
Derek Markham says
I’ve never had a flu shot, and don’t think it makes much sense for most people. Flu viruses are ever-changing, and the shot they give each year is based on a best guess as to which strain will pop.
Maybe for some people (the elderly, maybe) it makes sense.
Solar Cooking says
The last tip is sound advice. Too many people rely on medication, when in fact all that is needed is copious amounts of water and some rest.
Scott Lewis says
listen to this man, i didn’t do most of this and i developed a severe case of pneumonia.
Now i’m doing pretty much everything on the list with a course of antibiotics and paracetamol, and im starting to feel heaps better. but i did have to spend a day in hospital on a drip… lesson learnt (DONT LET THE FLU GET A HOLD OF YOU)
These all seem like guesses. I wish I could find the qualifications of anybody posting on here. Vitamin C and zinc actually have research to back them up.
Also, the amount of thimerosal (mercury chemically linked to aspirin) contains less mercury than you’d find in a can of tuna.
If it’s on the internet it must be true though so everbody should definitely believe this uncited list with no given qualifications given for any of the authors.
Derek Markham says
All of these tips are from health providers, and none of them are a magic bullet.
“Minimize your risk” is the operative phrase here.
You say these are tips for coping with disease, but is it really coping if your advice – on the whole – simply is to do as little as possible other than eating healthy foods and sleeping a lot, even taking days off work, as long as it takes for the illness to pass without the aid of modern medicine?
Derek Markham says
I meant it to be about coping with cold and flu season. All of the above are about minimizing your risk and maximizing your health…
TV Guide says
Great list. Concise and to the point. Keep up the good work!
Although…I like teh idea of a massage as much as the next man but I’m not convinced it will help 😉
Monica Healthy Green Mom says
Some great tips here!
We follow most of them on the list, but I think the best ones for us have been eating more fruits and veggies, avoiding sugar and taking fantastic organic vitamins.
replica handbag says
Thanks for your tips .I will follow them.
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