How To Avoid Getting Sick


Cold and flu season  is at it's peak right now and while it would be great to just stay at home and safely snuggle under the covers to avoid getting sick, this isn't really a viable option for most of us. But there are some things that you can do to take precautions and keep your immune system in fighting form so you'll be less likely to fall ill.

WASH YOUR HANDS
Your hands have many opportunities to come into contact with any number of viruses and germs so make it a point to wash them frequently and wash them well. Scrub with soap for 20 seconds or as long as it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Studies have found that regular hand washing can reduce respiratory illness transmission by 20% or more. Carry hand sanitizer with you to use when you can't wash your hands.

KEEP IT CLEAN
Bacteria is everywhere and rhinoviruses can live for up to 48 hours on surfaces so make sure to be sure to regularly wipe down and disinfect everything that you regularly come in contact with like your phone, keyboard, mouse, tables, countertops, doorknobs, switches, handles, etc.

DON'T TOUCH
Embrace your germaphobe and keep your hands off anything/everything you can avoid touching in public since germs are everywhere and the more you touch things everyone else is touching, the likelihood of getting sick increases. Use your feet and elbows if possible to try to avoid using your hands to open public doors.

DRINK LESS
Alcohol has been shown to inhibit the function of white blood cells to fight against bacteria and viruses.  Alcohol also dehydrates and deprives the body of nutrients and can disrupt sleep so lighten up on the drinks. While you're cutting down the alcohol, remember to drink more water to help transport nutrients and flush out toxins.

CUT DOWN ON SUGAR
Sugar also suppresses the immune system by reducing the responsiveness of  immune cells immediately after ingestion and for several hours afterward. You should be eating better and more vitamin rich foods now anyway.

EAT WELL
Always try to maintain a well balanced, nutrient rich diet with fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish and lean proteins. Foods high in antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C and beta-carotene, will fortify your immune system and boost your body's ability to fight off infections, bacteria and viruses. The amino acids in zinc and selenium rich foods act as building blocks to many cells in our bodies. Fiber in whole grains have antimicrobial properties which help the body rid itself of toxins. You can also try adding some illness fighting spices like garlic, turmeric, oregano and ginger to your food.

GET MOVING
Exercise promotes circulation and the release of stress hormones to increase the production of cells that attack bacteria for better function of immune cells. It also temporarily increases body temperature which can inhibit the growth of bacteria.

GET YOUR SLEEP
Sleep is always important since it offers up a line of defense against infection. Research has found that those who sleep less than 7 hours each night are nearly three times more likely to catch a cold since sleep stimulates an immune response in the our bodies that increases antibodies and decreases inflammation.  Check out my 10 habits that will help you sleep better which I swear by.

COVER YOUR MOUTH
Airborne germs can actually enter your body through your nose or mouth. Be wary of your breathing space when you're in public. You don't have to wear a surgical mask but if someone sneezes nearby  pull your scarf over your nose and mouth and hold your breath for 15 to 20 seconds.

DON'T SKIP FRESH AIR
Germs love stagnant indoor air so be sure to ventilate regularly. Open that window and push those germs out. Better yet, bundle up and take a walk outside. Just don't touch anything.

What do you do to avoid getting sick? I've been  consuming massive amounts of garlic and swearing by this super immunity supplement this winter. Bonus: it also helps me to sleep better.

Photo: Ji Chang Wook in The Healer (KBS2)

19 comments

  1. Great tips! Better pop more Vit C as I'll be travelling again this weekend! Hey dear, check out our latest Giveaway to Win USD 50 Open to All Worldwide! xoxo

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  2. Morning Rowena! Those are truly great tips, I honestly try to follow them as well. In particular, I keep to wash my hands many times during the day lol is almost maniacal! I love to breathe fresh air as well. Have a good day! xo

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  3. Its like an epidemic this year in my office. Great tips to follow.

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  4. Winter is never a good time....although it hasn't been too bad this year, every winter, the kiddos just pass the cold to each other and it goes around in a circle...sigh....
    I take echinacea when I feel a tickle in my throat and this Chinese syrup called Pei Pa Koa:)

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  5. These are super tips, definitely don't want to be with a cold at this time of year. Bring on Spring. xx

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  6. Great advice for this season, it's really going around!! - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  7. Great tips for staying healthy Rowena! Getting rest is so important!

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  8. I've been eating a lot of garlic too...and just trying to keep a very health diet. I've also been exercising more. I hope I'll manage to avoid the flu this year.

    You shared some really good tips here.I don't have to use public transport often anymore, this city is so small I can just walk everywhere- when I had to take the bus during the flu season I was always wary of my breathing space. That tip about covering one's mouth with a scarf and holding our breath for 10 second when someone who is standing right next to us sneezes is a really good one!

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  9. These tips are so great! I keep getting a cold since moving to Seattle, so I really need to keep these in mind! Thanks for sharing!

    http://roadesque.com
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  10. Great tips and a very helpful post! x

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  11. I'm glad I do almost all of these things. I also take immunity gummies. I'm not about that sick life. Hand sanitizer is my bff.

    www.ohtobeamuse.com

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  12. I cook with a lot of garlic and thankfully our household is quite healthy except in December when everyone fell really ill. That elderberry supplement, is it for sleep purpose or is it for general health?

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

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  13. Fantastic post!
    Have a nice week!
    Gil Zetbase

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  14. Amazing tips, Rowena. I have been healthy while the whole family has been constantly sneezing and sniffling, fingers crossed it will stay that way.

    Anne - Linda, Libra, Loca

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  15. Any supplement that helps me sleep well sounds good! I follow your rules and wash my hands a lot, especially around the kids!

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  17. These are helpful tips, Rowena. I actually do all of these things, which is probably why I don't usually get sick ...maybe once a year if that. Oregano oil tablets and vitamin C tablets also help me. Happy Friday!
    FASHION TALES

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  18. I always find regular consumption of vitamin C to be beneficial during the colder months. I rarely catch a cold because of this. But lately I haven't been as good as I should and I definitely feel the effects. I feel like my body has been battling an internal virus these past few months. While no physical symptoms have popped up like runny noses etc I can feel it trying to fight past my defences. I started making sure I was eating properly and feel such an improvement now. Just goes to show how essential they all are.

    Sxx
    daringcoco.com

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  19. I do all of these Rowena and I also gargle with brown Listerine! I swear by it! There are so many germs out there.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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