11 Simple Tips for Preventing a Cold or Flu

1. WASH AND DRY YOUR HANDS REGULARLY

It goes without saying that washing your hands with soap and warm water is the most important thing
you can do to prevent getting sick. But did you know that drying your hands is just as important?
Germs cling to skin more easily when it’s wet.

2. COVER YOUR SNEEZES AND COUGHS

But don’t cover them with your hands. Instead, sneeze into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.

3. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE

Cold and flu viruses enter your body through the eyes, nose and mouth.

4. EXERCISE

Aerobic exercise speeds up the heart to pump larger quantities of blood and can increase the activity
of a type of white blood cell that attacks viruses.

5. EAT GOOD FOOD

Proper nutrition provides the body with the elements it needs to fight the battle. Cut back on sugary
and fatty foods, and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and lean protein.

6. DON’T SMOKE

Heavy smokers get more frequent and severe colds, because smoke dries out nasal passages and
destroys cilia, the hair-like fibers in your nose that sweep cold and flu viruses out of the
nasal passages.

7. CUT OUT ALCOHOL AND INCREASE WATER CONSUMPTION

Alcohol suppresses the part of the immune system that protects you from getting sick and the
part that fights germs already in your system. Instead, reach for water, which is especially important
to fight the dehydrating effects of dry winter air. Immune system cells need sufficient moisture to
work optimally.

8. SMILE AND RELAX

Research has found that happiness, laughter and pleasurable activities boost the immune response.
So participate in relaxation practices, such as meditation, and get a massage.

9. GET ADEQUATE SLEEP

While you sleep your body repairs cells and injuries from a normal day’s wear and tear. Seven to nine
hours of sleep a night allows your body to repair and heal itself and ward off infections.

10. BREAK YOUR GERMY HABITS

No double dipping in the chip and dip bowl. Or biting your fingernails. Or licking your thumb to clean
the smudge off your child’s face.

11. SANITIZE

Certain places are known germ hotspots. Clean and sanitize purse handles, door handles, stair
railings, computer keyboards, phones, toothbrushes, restaurant menus, grocery carts, gas pumps and
remote controls.

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