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Avoid getting sick with these quick tips

Avoid getting sick with these quick tips

When it’s flu season, which typically starts in October and lasts through May, you’ll want a game plan in place to avoid getting ill. Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to stay ahead of the cold, flu, COVID-19 and other common threats to your health. Best of all, many of these are DIY tips that don’t require a trip to the doctor.

Avoid getting sick by avoiding sick people

When you see somebody coughing or sneezing, it’s best to keep your distance. Studies show potentially infectious droplets can travel even farther than was previously thought. If a family member is sick, avoid sharing common spaces and personal items, including dishes and towels. Ideally, the person who is sick should stay in a separate room when possible. Avoiding sickness doesn’t mean shunning your friends. Text, send an email or schedule a game night on Discord!

Not feeling great yourself? Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and stay home to limit exposing others to viruses. Hydrate and rest to help your body recover more quickly.

Wash your hands and anything they touch

When you touch door handles, countertops and grocery carts, you pick up germs. By touching your mouth or nose, those germs can enter your body and make you sick. Slow the spread of germs and avoid getting sick by washing your hands with soap and water and using proper handwashing technique.

  • Wash for 20 seconds or longer.
  • Give your whole hand attention, scrubbing your palms, the tops of your hands, between fingers and under fingernails.
  • When you’re done, use a paper towel or clean towel to dry off. Pro tip: Use that towel to open the bathroom door.

For added protection, clean and disinfect the surfaces you touch with a household cleaner or water and dish soap to keep them germ-free. To sanitize your computer keyboard, phone or other devices, use an alcohol wipe or a microfiber cloth dampened with isopropyl alcohol.

Practice self-care

Taking care of your body, mind and soul should be a priority every day, not just when you feel sick. Start with these tips to help you stay healthy, happy and resilient:

  • Max chillax. Stress weakens the immune system, so it’s important to learn how to relax. Practice meditation, pick up a new hobby or talk to a friend or counselor if needed.
  • H2O. Staying hydrated throughout the day will help your body fight off illness.
  • Healthy noms. Choose fresh vegetables and fruit, which are rich in vitamins that support a healthy immune system and avoid added sugar.
  • Move and groove. Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week to promote overall health.
  • Sleep tight. Aim for seven to nine hours of shut-eye every night to reduce your risk of chronic diseases and to improve immune function.

On top of supporting good overall health, these tips strengthen your immune system. Since your immune system helps you avoid getting sick, you want it as strong as possible.

Get the stick to avoid getting sick

As helpful as all these other quick tips are, nothing protects you and powers up your immune system like a vaccine barrier. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu vaccines are the best way to keep you from getting the flu and all the problems it brings.

The same goes with COVID-19. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against infection.

Nervous that you’ll still get sick even with vaccination? You might. However, immunization significantly reduces the risk of severe illness and hospitalization.

Whether you need help sidestepping sickness or getting over it, primary care at LCMC Health can help make it happen. Schedule an appointment today.