Use this checklist to stay healthy through cold-and-flu season
- Everyone 6 months and older should get the influenza vaccine (flu shot).
- The ideal time to get vaccinated is before the onset of flu season (November or December) and get it every year because you lose immunity over time and because the viruses targeted by the vaccine usually change from year to year.
- Essential power players include high-quality protein, such as fish, lean meats, and beans, needed to help build white blood cells (the body’s defenders); brightly colored fruits and veggies, which provide immune-boosting antioxidants; and omega-3 fatty acids (good sources include fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseed) to keep the immune system balanced.
- Exercise can keep you from getting sick by stimulating the immune cells that target cold infections. People who walked or did other moderate activity for 30 minutes most days averaged one cold per year, while less-active folks reported more than four colds per year.
- Humidity kills the flu virus, so keep air at home warm and moist. Use a humidifier to maintain around 50 percent humidity and set room temperatures to at least 69 degrees F.
- Probiotics are friendly microbes that may strengthen the immune system by crowding out bad germs that make us sick. Aim for three servings a day of probiotic-rich foods – yogurt with live bacteria, aged cheese, kefir, or other fermented foods (like sauerkraut or kimchi).
- Get eight or more hours of sleep because even minor sleep deprivation suppresses immune function.
- Your biggest defense against lurking cold and flu bugs: old-fashioned hand-washing.
- Germ-filled droplets can fly through the air. turn your head away for about 10 seconds when someone sneezes or coughs within 6 feet of you. If you do get sick, sneeze into your sleeve, toss tissues immediately, and – if possible – stay home until you’re better.
read article on Yahoo Health by Aviva Patz from Health.com: 9 Simple Ways to Stay Sniffle-Free