1. Wash your hands – The single most important thing that you can do to prevent illness is to wash your hands. Most of the flu – like illnesses we acquire are spread via contact. I touch a handle, doorknob, hand, etc that has the virus on it and -whammo!- I’m down for the count. Regularly washing your hands with soap and hot water throughout the day will rid your hands of these germs and help you to avoid contracting them via contact.
3. Get plenty of sleep – It is recommended that adults get at least eight hours of sleep each night (children are even more than that… 8-12 depending on their age). Sleeping is your body’s way to recharge and get ready for the next day. It is also the time when your immune system can focus on fighting off whatever foreign bodies it came in contact with that day. Getting a good night’s sleep gives your immune system a much welcome boost!
6. Get your flu shot – Now, not wanting to open up a whole can of worms with this one; I know immunizations can be a sensitive subject with certain people. However, I’m confident that flu shots exist for a reason and there is also a reason why your doctor recommends them. As a healthcare professional, I am actually required to get them every year in order to treat patients. When you receive a flu shot, you a essentially receive an inactive form of the closest match to the flu virus for that year. Your body then forms anti-bodies formed specifically to fight off this type of virus. That way, when the real thing hits you already have a “reserve Army” in your immune system that will attack this virus at first contact. This is a safe and effective way to be proactive against fighting off illness.
7. Keep it clean – As mentioned previously, the flu virus is primarily contracted via contact. Viruses can live on a surface for 8–72 hours (depending on the type of surface, moisture level, and temperature). One of the safest ways to prevent the spread of the flu virus is to eliminate it from surfaces that you touch often. Antiviral/antibacterial wipes and cleaners not only keep your house looking me and tidy, but also wiped out these nasty little buggers. Make sure you pay close attention to handles and other areas that are touched often (doorhandles, sinks/faucets, drawer pulls and cabinet handles, etc.).
9. Keep your phone clean – One that every one of us is guilty of and not one of us ever thinks about! Think about how often you touch your phone’s screen. Think about how many surfaces you put your phone on. Now think about when was the last time you cleaned your phone with a disinfectant? Shocking, huh? With as much as you touch your phone and as many surfaces as it comes in contact with – it’s a veritable germ magnet. Wipe it down daily with a disinfectant wipe to increase your chances at avoiding the flu this year.