October is arguably the best month of the fall season… but October is also the start of cold and flu season, and that means plenty of sniffles and runny noses, chapped hands, and even a nasty case of the flu.
The best way to protect yourself from the common cold and influenza virus is to take as many preventative measures as possible, and who better to ask for advice than the people working at your family health clinic? Despite being surrounded by coughing and sneezing patients all day everyday, these heroes manage to keep themselves healthy so that they can treat hundreds of patients each week.
So without further ado, let’s take a quick look at some of the top tips for staying healthy even when you’re surrounded by nasty colds and viruses:
- Wash your hands
It has to be the first on the list simply because it’s the simplest and most effective way of preventing bacteria from spreading. If your skin becomes irritated by the dry winter air, a great solution is to keep a bottle of lotion right next to the sink.
- Cover your sneezes and throw out your tissues
Hankies might be a more eco-friendly option for catching sneezes and runny noses, but the lack of hygiene here is a major selling point for disposable tissues. The influenza virus travels through tiny droplets of saliva, so the best way to prevent the virus from spreading is to minimize where these droplets go!
- Get vaccinated
Speaking of the flu, go see your family care physicians or urgent care clinicians for your seasonal vaccination! If you can’t make it into your doctor’s office (since less than a third of all offices are open beyond normal business hours), check out your local emergency walk in clinic or family health clinic. In most cases you won’t have to wait more than 20 minutes to be seen, and with insurance your co-pay will probably be around $35-$55.
- Stay out of the grocery store’s candy aisle
Cutting out extra sugar is actually an effective way to boost your body’s squad of white blood cells, since sugar inhibits these cells from fighting off bacteria.
- Add some good bacteria
Many people forget that not all bacteria is bad! In fact, there’s a lot of good bacteria living in your digestive system that helps out your immune system as well. Probiotics replenish the good bacteria in your body and can be consumed daily through supplements.
Remember — prevention and early treatment are key when it comes to cold weather illnesses. If you feel yourself getting sick, don’t hesitate to head over to your family health clinic for help!