Dr. Young’s Pro Tips For Avoiding Cold and Flu

With cold and flu season in full swing I thought I would share a few things that shouldn't be relied upon to keep you from getting sick this year followed by my own personal pro tips for avoiding these bugs.

These things won't keep Cold and Flu away:

Here are Dr. Young's Pro Tips for keeping well during cold and flu season:

1. Eat at Home

We have all seen the signs in the bathrooms that say "Employees Must Wash Hands" at a restaurant but that only limits some of the exposure you may have to a virus during cold and flu season.  The more people you have handling and transporting your food the greater the chances for contamination.  Usually tables get wiped down but what about the parts of the chair everybody touches before they sit down, the chair backs?  Eating at home allows you to escape exposure to many other germ sources.  Prepare a healthy meal and eat with some of your favorite germs instead.

2. "Cart Wipe On Aisle 4!"

Everybody puts their hands on that shopping cart handle.  Do you know where those hands have been?  Well meaning people who cover their cough may be wiping cold and flu yuckiness all over that shoping cart handle.  Most grocery stores have wipes available where you pick up your cart.  If they don't then it's not a bad idea to carry some hand sanitizer, splash a little on your hands and give your cart handle a little rub down before it dries. 

3. Avoid Sick People

This can be a really good thing especially if the sick people around you are really annoying.  Then you have a good reason to keep your distance.  If everybody at work is coughing and sniffling you may want to take a premptive sick day and let them hack it out at work while you do something you enjoy at home in perfect health.  If you do start to get sick do everybody else a favor an quarantine yourself.

4. Vitamins and Minerals

While these don't guarantee prevention of an illness, doesn't it just make sense to give your immune system all of the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight back?  Vitamin D in particular is important.  Without it your immune system can't make crucial virus fighting proteins.  Did you know that most of the Vitamin D receptors in your body are in your immune system?  Make sure to be consistent about getting your vitamins!

5. Quit Picking Your Nose

… and eating it.  Enough said.

6. Forks Over Finger Food

The less you put your germy little fingers in your mouth the less exposure you will have to virus germs.

7. Fist Bumps, Not handshakes… Chest Bumps, Not High-Fives

Limit your exposure during societal greeting rituals by keeping the palms and finger protected.  You might even want to keep the chest bumps to a minimum.

8. Sleeeeeeep.  ZZzzZZZzzZZZ….

Getting good rest is a great way to keep stress away.  When you get stressed out your immune defenses suffer.  When do college students get sick?  Finals time when the stress is high and the immune system is weak.  Make sure to turn in a little early to keep your body well rested and healthy.

9. Listen to Your Mom and Your Kidnergarten Teacher

Remember to wash yor hands, cover your cough, wash your hands again after you cough, don't share food, don't share drinks, don't chew with your mouth open (that's just gross), blow your nose, wash your hands again, use hand sanitizer, wear clean underwear (nothing to do with the cold or flu), share (but not your germs), drink lots of water, eat your soup, wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands and your face.

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