Decrease the RIsk of Having Colds and Flu with these Tips

As the rain season officially begins, we should all be wary of illnesses that could easily spread as we adjust to the changing weather. At work, school, or the commute home, it might be uncommon to be surrounded by people who sneeze and cough within a few meters (or inches!_ from you. No worries– aside from getting a flu shot, you could prevent getting sick with colds and flu by following some of these tips below.

Wash your hands often throughout the day. “No matter what line of work you’re in, if you come in contact with people who are contagious, you have to wash your hands over and over,” says Alan Pocinki, MD. Pocinki of the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.

He says it is especially important to do so after visiting a sick patient. Every day we touch inanimate objects such as faucet handles or door knobs in public places. We also often touch our faces, and this habit could get germs in more easily into our system with bacteria entering through our nose, mouth, or eyes.

Keep your environment clean. Amanda Long,  a massage therapist from Arlington, VA, insists clients to stay home if they are feeling under the weather. She constantly sanitizes doorknobs and light switches between massage sessions. She says that her “hyper-vigilance has paid off.”

She recounts being sick more often back when she worked in an office, where mingling in crowded spaces generally didn’t call for much attention to passing on germs.

Paramedic Beth Geoghegan from South Florida says she starts her day by cleaning her work space with virus-and-germ-killing soaps.“It’s a matter of looking at your environment and thinking, ‘What could be contaminated?’ All it takes is a tiny droplet,” Geoghegan says.

Get Enough Sleep. Keeping one’s immune system healthy during flu season is highly essential. “The body goes into healing mode when it sleeps,” says family and integrative medicine specialist  Donald Novey, MD from Poulsbo, Wash.

Exercise. Make an effort to stay on the move and be fit during the rainy season, even if it’s with indoor exercises you could do at home or at the gym. This would help boost the immune-system booster and prevent viruses from making you ill.

Eat nutritious food, and keep a healthy lifestyle. Ardis Dee Hoven, MD, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist in Lexington, KY.

“Do all the things we all should be doing on a daily basis anyway,” Hoven says. “Get adequate rest — which people underestimate — get good nutrition, don’t smoke, and keep your allergies controlled, because if they’re out of control, then your upper respiratory tree is already inflamed, which sets it up to more easily acquire a virus.”

It’s no secret that fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins that could, you guessed it, boost your immune system. Try this Avocado and Pineapple Smoothie with Leaflife Stevia  (insert hyperlink to recipe) for breakfast or as a quick snack to boost  energy levels throughout the day, and help build your resistance to diseases this rainy season.