As work deadlines and holiday preparations loom ahead, it can be difficult to take the time to properly look after your health. Yet as temperatures continue to drop, contracting the flu is a serious worry at this time of the year. While the flu vaccine is often touted as an effective way to combat the virus, there are also a number of at-home methods to help prevent the flu. Take these healthy habits into consideration this season, as you aim to keep flu germs at bay and stay in good health once the weather changes.
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Washing hands frequently
Many specialists cite washing hands as one of the top ways to prevent the flu. That’s because the most common way to contract the flu is through the germs on communal objects like doorknobs and telephones that regularly come into contact with our hands. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention cites water and soap as the most effective way to lather up. If you’re not near a sink, however, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the next best thing.
This powerful superfood doesn’t just scare off vampires. Garlic contains allion and allicin, both of which contain antiviral effects,which help to combat the development of the flu. If the taste of raw garlic is unappealing, mix in a few extra cloves into your meal for a more subtle flavour that possesses immune boosting proprieties. Garlic is also known to help minimize and even eradicate symptoms after a flu has already been contracted.
No one would dispute that regular exercise is important in maintaining one’s health. But fewer people realize the direct correlation between exercise and the prevention of the flu. Exercise increases your body’s circulation and blood flow, meaning that the immune system has a greater chance at stopping an illness before it spreads. However, not all workouts are created equal. In a study run by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, participants who took part in regular high intensity exercise cut down their chances of developing the flu. In comparison, those who took part in regular moderate exercise did not reap the protective benefits.
It’s a known fact that fluids are essential for treating the flu. But drinking water is also a key way to prevent the flu as well. A study conducted by Dr. David Lewis found that people who drank eight glasses of water a day were five times less likely to suffer from a blocked nose and sore throat than those who drank three glasses. Dr. Lewis credits the importance of water to its ability to keep the lining of the nose moist, as “the first line of the defense is the mucous membrane in the nose.”