Avoiding the Flu | Staying Healthy in Meadville PA

It's that time of year where everyone seems to be catching a cold or the flu.   Even the hardiest of people who never get sick seem to be coming down with the chills, sniffles and coughs this time around.   Here are a few tips to stay healthy during the cold months and hopefully avoid this season's flu bug.

Wash your hands often.  While this may seem like advice that isn't really useful, the truth is that most of us catch a cold when we touch a surface that has cold and flu germs on it and proceed to touch our face or eat.  The best way to avoid catching the flu or a cold is to simply wash our hands often with hot water and plenty of soap.  However, in order for hand washing to be effective, remember to wash up to your wrists and rub the suds in your hands for at least thirty seconds before rinsing and drying.  If you can't wash your hands for any reason, avoid touching your face or nose.

Get a flu shot.  Also called a flu jab, if you're over fifty years of age, suffer from a chronic illness, or work in the medical field, you'll want to get a flu shot.  Also consider getting a jab if you work in a large open-air office with lots of co-workers or if you live in a dormitory. 

Get at least 7 hours of sleep at night and do whatever it takes to reduce your stress levels naturally.   If possible, try to get about 9 hours of sleep during the flu season because a lack of sleep reduces your body's natural ability to fight off disease.  Stress also makes the body less resistant to disease, so in order to stay healthy during the winter months when the flu makes, get enough sleep and participate in some sort of activity that will decrease your stress levels.  Doctors recommend yoga, focused meditation, or even controlled deep breathing as good methods of stress relief; regular exercise is also a known stress-buster.

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