Nothing dampers your energy and positivity than a cold and flu infection. Not only do they affect your productivity, but because of low energy, you can miss out on fun activities.
Cold and flu infections are common as most people have flu episodes at least two to four times a year. But you shouldn’t be a statistic, with a few changes in your lifestyle, you can kick cold and flu infection to the curb this season.
The Center for Disease Control advises all people aged six months and older to get the annual flu shot at around October—it signals the begging of the flu season. October is a perfect time to get vaccinated because it takes a few days for the body to respond to the vaccine. Having the flu shot early will reduce the risk of getting the infection.
Why is the annual flu shot important? The influenza virus mutates throughout the year, meaning the infection-causing virus strain is different every year. Our bodies develop antibodies for previous influenza virus, but can’t protect us from the new strains, hence the need for a vaccine. You can get the flu shot as a nasal spray or injection.
Although the vaccine does not promise complete protection, it will help reduce the risk of getting the infection.
Did you know proper handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infection by 16 to 20 percent? Hygiene is important not only in preventing flu infection but also for your general wellness.
Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based wipes (if the soap is not available) to keep them clean at all times. Remember that the virus enters the body through your eyes, mouth or nose and you can infect yourself by touching.
Cold and flu infection is caused by the influenza virus which can survive for weeks or months outside of the host. Therefore, disinfecting your surfaces is important to eliminate the virus. Using alcohol or bleach-based cleaning products on your countertops will reduce the risk of infection.
Additionally, keep the air clean as colds and flu are respiratory infections. That means the tiny droplets can travel through the air and people can spread the infection through sneezing or coughing.
Your immunity is your defense force that protects and fights any invading pathogens like influenza. A healthy immune system keeps you strong and prevents any infections from developing. The vice versa holds; a compromised immunity will promote the multiplication of the virus.
Bad lifestyle habits slow down your immune system. You can, however, boost your immunity by lowering stress and sleeping for seven to eight hours. Good nutrition also plays a role in maintaining your immune system. Also, incorporate a diet rich in vegetables, whole foods, and fruits.
Regular exercise is good for both the immune system and mental health. Exercise increases blood flow and white blood circulation which helps to fight infections.
According to recent research, poor sleep can increase your risk of cold and flu infection. Not only that, but sleep deprivation can also affect your overall health and stress levels, all of which affect your immune system. Getting quality sleep will help boost your immune system as well as increase your strength and mood.
Smoke whether direct of secondhand can increase the risk of respiratory diseases such as asthma as it lowers your immune response. Quit smoking to improve your health and avoid respiratory infections.
Even with the above-mentioned tips, you can still get infected. The flu and cold treatment such as decongestants and antihistamines are perfect for the stuffed nose. Don’t forget to hydrate, rest, humidify your air, avoid crowded places, and avoid taking high doses of zinc and vitamin C.
If the symptoms worsen, then you need to come to our flu emergency room for an assessment and treatment.