Flu season is in full swing, and that means colds and other respiratory ailments are also on the rise. Germs that cause these illnesses are very easy to catch and easy to pass on to another person, either by touching an infected surface like a desk, phone or keyboard, or by breathing in germs that remain in the air after someone coughs or sneezes. Even being in close proximity with someone who’s sick can make you sick too.
Enclosed environments like schools and workplaces make the likelihood of disease transmission even higher. Fortunately, there are some things you can do – simple things – that can reduce your risks of becoming ill this flu season (and throughout the year).
- Eat a balanced diet. Part of staying healthy is making sure your body is as strong as it can be so it can fight off germ invasions, and a big part of staying healthy is making sure your body gets the important nutrients it needs to support its immune system. Eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables and elan proteins – and drinking plenty of water – is important for strong immunity.
- Get lots of rest. Your body repairs itself during sleep, so be sure to get eight hours each night. Napping during the day is fine, as long as it doesn’t interfere with deep nighttime sleep.
- Exercise regularly. Physical activity is good for your heart and joints, but it’s also good for circulation and for keeping your airways open and healthy. Plus, regular exercise can improve your emotional health so you’re not as stressed out.
- Speaking of stress … Do all you can to relieve it. Chronic stress has been shown again and again to increase the likelihood of illnesses as well as serious diseases like heart disease. In addition to exercise, yoga, meditation – even taking some time out before bed to read or have a relaxing cup of tea can help.
- Wash your hands – the right way. The CDC recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, being sure to wash between the fingers, on the backs of the hands as well as the palms, and around the nails.
- Keep sanitizing wipes and gels on hand and wipe down your desk, phone, keyboard and other items regularly. Use hand sanitizer when washing your hands isn’t an option.
Staying healthy also means seeing the doctor for regular checkups and getting care quickly when you’re sick, essential steps that become a lot easier when you have the right health insurance. Make it your top New Year’s resolution to review your health insurance policy – it takes just a few minutes – so you can feel confident you have the right coverage for your needs – and stay healthy!
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