Flu season. You know it’s here by the harking sound of coughing and sniffles that echo throughout the office. You might be that poor sniffler who brings a box of tissues with you every time you leave the house because you never know when your nose is going to spring a leak. Perhaps you’re one of those people who sits there in annoyance as the chorus of sniffles around you grows in strength and numbers every day until you’d swear the Philharmonic Orchestra was directing a symphony of musical nostrils. You may have even debated wearing a face mask on the regular to avoid the germy airwaves between you and your sick coworkers or peers.
From October until May, colds and flus spread throughout the United States like a message in a game of telephone— different strains, symptoms, severities, durations, etcetera. You might think you’re in the clear for the year, but don’t be fooled. There’s still time for you to catch it in all of its horrible glory— unfortunately, this year’s flu strain has pushed the peak time a bit later than normal. Whether you’ve been hit by the flu or one of its miserable counterparts this season, or you’re one of the lucky ones who sat by and watched as those around you succumbed to drippy noses, vomiting and/or aching pains, you’re probably wondering how to prevent it, and we don’t blame you— the flu can be fatal if not taken care of, especially for those with compromised immune systems. We’ve compiled four simple tips that you can easily implement into your everyday routine to drastically reduce your chances of becoming one of the snifflers.
Beauty Sleep: We’ve said it many a time, and we want to reiterate. Sleep is essential to health. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night and a little extra when you’re starting to feel under the weather— extended periods of inadequate sleep can seriously compromise your immune system. Snoozing is the fastest way for your body to repair and fight off whatever ails you.
Disinfect: Grab your Clorox and Lysol and have at it. Wipe doorknobs, surfaces, faucets, keyboards, remotes, anything you can think of. Do the same thing at the office— wipe down your desk space, and keep some hand sanitizer and a package of antibacterial wipes nearby for when your sick colleagues inevitable put their hands on your clean space.
Hand Washing: Yeah, it gets old washing your hands every 5 minutes. But if you’re in a place where you’re touching surfaces that everyone and their grandmother has also touched, you have no idea what kinds of gross things are lurking under an invisibility cloak on said surfaces. Keep some lotion with you and use a little bit after several hand-washes so that your poor knuckles don’t dry out. We recommend the age-old timespan of the ABC song as a measurement of hand-washing sufficiency, and make sure you’re using hot water!
Drink Fluids: Liquids can cleanse your system (duh). But what kinds? Doctors recommend tea and water; Gatorade can also be a good choice, and juices such as orange and cranberry are packed with Vitamin C and immune-boosting antioxidants. If you’re drinking tea and you want to dump sugar into it, go natural instead: Honey has natural antibacterial properties that will help rid your body of germs and bacteria. Thing to avoid: Booze. Why? It impairs sleep, which compromises your immune system (and boom, we’ve come full circle).
We could rattle off infinite ways to reduce your risk of catching a cold or the flu, but who has time to implement them all, let alone read about them? What we can say, however, is that exercise is another key to keeping your immune system on the defensive— and when you’re done battling the army of germs with your Clorox in one hand and your Kleenex in the other, GYMGUYZ is here for all of your personal training needs.