Germs are everywhere. Every time you touch a door handle, shake a hand or use someone else’s cellphone you place yourself at risk of spreading or receiving germs. Add the cold and flu season into the mix and we all run the risk of catching those annoying seasonal illnesses. When germs are always looking for a way into our bodies how do we fight them? Here’s a list of helpful tips to aid in your quest to stay healthy.
Capture that Cough or Sneeze
We all teach our kids to cover their mouth and nose when they cough or sneeze. However, many of us forget to practice this simple, healthy habit on a regular basis. Whenever possible use a tissue to prevent germs from airborne travel. If you don’t have a tissue, catch a cough or sneeze in your inner elbow. Anytime you sneeze or cough in your hands wash them right away to stop transferring those troublesome organisms onto everything you touch.
An MIT study, recently featured in a Weather.com post, researchers found that some of the smallest droplets (as small as 10 millionths of a meter in diameter) can travel 200 times farther than previously estimated. They can even travel through ceiling ventilation. So please for the benefit of the greater good, cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze!
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. This is particularly tough for young children, but germs are spread when a person touches a surface or object that is contaminated with bacteria and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth. Be sure to carry hand sanitizer or sanitizer wipes and wash you hands after touching public surfaces. Germs are literally everywhere. So the next time you borrow someone’s cell phone, pour some catsup at your favorite restaurant or take money from an ATM machine you might want to think twice about touching your face after.
Wash Your Hands
When in doubt always wash your hands. It’s one of the easiest ways to stay healthy. Hand washing is one of the most beneficial habits we can practice regarding our health. It’s especially important before meals and after using the restroom. Keeping hand sanitizer within reach is an easy way to “wash” away those germs when you are on the go, but be sure to monitor younger children when using it. Harmful organisms are hiding everywhere. In fact, among the most germ-infested places to visit are your local grocery store and favorite restaurant; so remain vigilant in your personal hygiene.
Stop the Spread of Germs
Healthy habits can protect everyone from getting or spreading germs at home, work, and school. Start by cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Regularly wash your bedding and pillowcases and be sure to remember those comfy throw blankets. According to Today Home, the average person spends 56 hours of sleep, sweat, body oil and dead skin cells per week, leaving behind potentially harmful bacteria in our beds. It’s recommended that we wash our sheets at least once a week. A clean and sanitary environment will assist you in your war against your microscopic enemy.
Practice Great Health Habits
Practicing excellent health habits is the first line of defense when it comes to combating pesky little invaders. When you are out and about, avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your illness from spreading to others, stay home and rest whenever possible. If you have to interact with other people, keep your distance and wear a protective facemask to protect them from getting sick too. Maintaining a well-balanced diet is another great way to boost your immune system, warding off those troublesome germs. A great way to stay healthy is to load up on your fruits and veggies. Vegetables are a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, both of which are proven to boost immunity. Feeling congested? Add a tsp of honey and a splash of whiskey or bourbon to your hot tea for a natural decongestant (let’s not get too excited; limit yourself to one as too much alcohol will inflame the membranes and make you feel worse). Looking for a fix? Here are a few helpful tips to stay healthy from Web MD that offer a few additional natural tips to help combat the cold and flu.
Talk to Your Doctor
When you get sick, it’s important to consult to your doctor. What may seem like a common virus might be something a little more serious. Telemedicine offers an excellent alternative to lingering in a clinic waiting room, risking exposure to those sneaky little germs lying in wait. You simply log into your patient portal and instantly connect with your physician via teleconferencing. No need to leave the comforts of your home and spread more germs.
It would be crazy to think that we can protect ourselves from harmful germs all of the time, but when you combine the above tips with a healthy diet, plenty of rest and exercise, and updated vaccinations you are setting yourself up for a victory in the battle against bacteria. Most of us practice these healthy habits on a regular basis, but it never hurts to cover the basics.