Daily Habits That Can Help You Avoid Illness And The Spread Of Viruses To Others!
It seems like it was just yesterday when summer was in the air and the average temperatures were around 85 degrees. Autumn is definitely here and with the transition from the weather to a cooler climate, winter is not far away. Along with the cool weather comes, you guessed it, cold and flu Season. Before you know it, you will feel a scratchy throat and the all-too-familiar runny nose. Almost everyone has colds and flu from time to time, and as more people start spending time together, the likelihood of getting sick is fairly high, but not inevitable. There are ways to protect yourself from illness and reduce your chances of catching the common cold or flu.
Here are 5 daily activities to keep yourself healthy during the fall weather transition:
- Get enough sleep
Yes, that means getting a constant 8 hours every night. Sleep habits have a direct impact on mental and physical health. Studies show that those who lack the quality and duration of sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to viruses like the flu or the common cold. Sleep also affects how quickly you recover when you get sick. So your body needs a good night’s sleep to fight infectious diseases.
- Wash your hands
Good hygiene is crucial during the cold and flu season. Your hands can carry a variety of germs that can easily make you sick. If you put your hands in your eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, germs can easily be transferred from your hands and you will get sick. It is therefore important to wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water. Try to be more careful when washing your hands, especially before you eat, and when you are not near a sink, hand sanitizer is always a great substitute!
- Disinfect surfaces
Germs can survive on many different surfaces, including:
How long a virus can survive on these surfaces depends on various factors; However, flu viruses can survive outside the body for long periods of time, even months. You can reduce your risk of infection by disinfecting surfaces with products that contain alcohol or bleach. Some surfaces that you should wipe frequently include doorknobs, countertops, desks, keyboards, and your cellphone.
- To become active
Not only is exercise a great way to stay in shape, it can even help keep you from getting sick. Exercise can actually help prevent or help your body recover from upper respiratory diseases. Light exercise (45 minutes, 3-5 days per week) can strengthen your immune system while preventing other diseases such as:
- Heart disease
- Anxiety and stress
- high blood pressure
- Type 2 diabetes
For more exercise tips, see the physical activity page on the Healthy UNH blog!
- Eat well
Providing your body with all the right vitamins and nutrients can work wonders! A balanced diet and vitamin-rich foods such as colorful fruits and vegetables can contribute to a stronger immune system. One of the greatest helpers in preventing colds or flu are citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits. Citrus fruits are extremely beneficial in preventing a cold because of their high concentration of vitamin C. Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells in our bodies, which play a vital role in preventing and fighting off viruses, so when in doubt, have a drink of some OJ!
Nobody likes getting sick, so take care and make a habit of making these tips part of your daily routine. Happy autumn!
Thank You For Reading!