5 Ways to Avoid Getting Sick Over the Holidays

Julie Shenkman
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During the holidays, it may seem impossible to avoid getting sick, especially if you work or shop in busy places. Fortunately, it's not that difficult to stay healthy during the holidays. It just takes a little effort and a healthy dose of cold and flu prevention to avoid getting sick over the holidays.

1. Avoid "germy" spaces. More than 200 winter cold and flu viruses are more active during the winter months, so avoid coming into contact with them to avoid getting sick. Busy shopping centers aren't the only germ hot spots you need to watch out for. Your office, the gym and even the ATM can be filled with germs, so be sure to take precautions such as sanitizing shopping carts, ATM buttons and gym equipment before using them.

2. Clean up your act. Simply washing your hands can help cut down on the germs you come into contact with, so be sure to wash or use hand sanitizer often. At work, wipe down your desk, keyboard and phone to kill cold and flu germs before they can make you sick.

3. Travel safely and smartly. If you have to use public transportation like planes or trains, try to limit using shared items as much as possible. If you are sitting near an air vent, divert the flow of air away from your face to avoid sending germs in for a direct hit. Before travelling, make sure you're up to date with your flu shot to reduce your chance of getting sick with the flu while travelling.

4. Watch your diet. The holidays may be filled with lots of overindulgence and unhealthy treats, you can help avoid getting sick by simply eating healthily and taking in some exercise. Drink lots of water to avoid dehydration, and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to power up your immune system. If you can't always eat healthily, consider adding a multivitamin to your daily diet to boost your intake of necessary vitamins and minerals.

5. Try to avoid stress. The holidays can be a very stressful time, but stress in your enemy when you are trying to avoid getting sick. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, between 6 to 8 hours per night, to keep your body well rested and ready to fight germs. Exercise daily to boost your immune system, and take time to simply de-stress after a busy day. A relaxed, well-rested body can fight off illness much better than a stressed one, so make this a priority.

The holidays should be a time for fun and family, not flu and colds. By taking a few extra precautions and taking better care of yourself throughout the season, you can avoid getting sick during the holidays and stay healthy well into the New Year.


Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at Freedigitalphotos.net



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