Fitness Facts: Keeping yourself healthy during flu season
By Connie Colbert
Director, Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic
With the flu and cold season already hitting many parts of the country, there are things we can do to keep healthy.
Getting a flu vaccine is one of the best defenses but there are also other ways to avoid illness:
- Wash your hands frequently (with soap and water), especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing and being around ill people. Wash thoroughly, especially before eating and touching food.
- Do not share objects such as cups, water bottles, forks, washcloths and anything that could spread infection.
- Avoid touch your nose, mouth and eyes. By touching these areas, you can either spread a current infection that you may have or give yourself an infection by germs you may have on your hands that you obtained from others or from touching objects that have germs on them.
- Get 6-8 hours of sleep nightly.
- Attempt to reduce stress.
- Use tissues for coughs and sneezes and dispose of them immediately after use.
- Eat a healthy diet and exercise. Exercising can help keep your immune system strong that will help protect against these nasty germs.
- Avoid large crowds.
- Stay home from work or school until you no longer have a fever or symptoms.
Stay healthy: Keep your surroundings clean!
Germs and bacteria can live on hard surfaces for a long time. It is important to stay on top of washing your hands, using hand sanitizer and keeping your home or work environment disinfected.
While handwashing is the best way to get rid of germs, hand sanitizer is also helpful. It is always best to carry that on you. Think about how frequently you are touching other objects – when you are grocery shopping, or at the bank, or getting gas, germs are everywhere.
With things being more digital today, think of all the touchscreens you touch on a daily basis, whether it is an iPad at a restaurant, buttons on the ATM, phones, gas pumps, etc.
While we cannot always fully avoid getting ill during this season, taking a few action steps can limit our exposure and decrease the severity of an illness.
If you do become ill and need treatment, make sure you are seen by a health care provider. You can either be seen at the Canyon Health and Wellness Clinic on the GCU main campus or an outside medical facility, or you can visit your PCP.