Whether it’s a cold, the flu, COVID-19 (more commonly known as the coronavirus), or another illness, no one really wants to end up feeling miserable. However, viruses and bacteria are tiny things and not always easy to avoid.
That means actually skipping out on cold and flu season can take some extra preparation and caution. Here are thirty ways to decrease your chances of getting sick:
#1 Shoes off indoors
Taking your shoes off when entering your home can reduce the amounts of dirt, bacteria, parasites, and who knows what else that can be tracked in on even clean-looking soles. Ditch the shoes before walking into the house.
#3 Wipe down and disinfect the house once you’re feeling better
If you do get sick, you might assume you’re immune to your own germs, after all, they now belong to you. However, with some illnesses, reinfection is possible. Once you have the energy to move again, invest some in getting everything gleamingly clean and sanitized.
Keeping your heart and lungs in tip-top shape helps with your ability to absorb oxygen. It will decrease your risk of getting ill. If you do catch something, your body’s ability to obtain and process enough oxygen is a major factor when it comes to preventing damage to organs during an illness. This means you’ll be feeling better sooner.
#5 Eliminate or reduce processed sugar in your diet
The healthier you are, the more likely you will be to fight off an illness. Even if you do still catch something, being healthy increases your chance of recovering more quickly and without complications.
While it’s probably easier said than done, reducing stress also helps your health. And the healthier you are, the stronger your immune system will be when it comes to deflecting illnesses. Just take a breath, acknowledge that life is sometimes far from perfect, and take some time to relax.
While the flu shot isn’t always as effective as we would like it to be, it does reduce your risk of catching certain strains of influenza. It even makes sense when it comes to illnesses that aren’t the flu because you’re reducing your risk of a double whammy – being sick with the flu and another illness at the same time (and yes, that can happen).
Viruses and bacteria can live on surfaces, including clothes, for quite a while in some cases. However, bacteria often die down when dried out completely, and many viruses will die in the level of heat attained by a clothes dryer. Kelly Reynolds, a germ researcher, recommends drying clothes for at least 28 minutes on high.
Cloth is great. It’s warm, it’s soft, and it’s absorbent. Unfortunately, that last part can be a problem sometimes. Viruses, bacteria, and general environmental contaminants can cling to clothes. If you wear the same clothes inside as you do outside, you’ll be transferring those to your living space.
Change into something more comfortable when you get home. It will help with stress levels (remember #7) and keep your house nearly germ-free.
According to researchers, the average person touches their face more than three times per hour. Over the course of a day, that adds up. It also increases your chances of transferring a cold or flu virus to your mouth, nose, or eyes, where it is more likely to enter your body successfully.
Even if it’s with a family member, sharing utensils increases the amount of the virus entering your system. The higher that number is, the more likely it will be that the virus will win instead of your immune system.