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3 Ways To Stay Healthy During Cold And Flu Season

November to April is cold and flu season. This is when your chances of getting a cold or the flu increase significantly. Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to prevent getting sick, but there are also good habits that you can practice to help keep you well during this time of year. Here are three ways to stay healthy during this year's cold and flu season.

Germ-Proof Your Surroundings

One of the ways bacteria and viruses spread are from contaminated surfaces. Someone who is sick touches a surface and the germs remain on the surface waiting to infect the next person. To stay healthy this cold and flu season, germ-proof your home and office. Wipe down shared surfaces such as door knobs, phones, desks, coffee pots, and other places that people touch. Items such as the keyboard and mouse to a shared computer can harbor millions of germs. In the office, you'll also want to avoid things like shared snack bowls. All it takes is a tiny droplet to infect you.

Avoid Touching Your Face

A good rule of thumb is to avoid touching anywhere above your neck. This is because the most common route of infection for bacteria and viruses is through your eyes, nose and mouth. Even if you've cleaned your surroundings carefully, you can further reduce your risk of catching a cold by simply keeping your hands away from your face. This may sound easy, but believe it or not, most people touch their face multiple times per hour without even realizing it. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health found that people touch their face more than three times every hour, and warn that it increases risk of the getting a cold, or the flu. Every time you touch your face, you're potentially transferring bacteria and viruses to where they have easy access into your body.

Be Vigilant About Hand Washing

It may seem like you're going overboard, but vigilantly washing your hands is one of the best ways to remain healthy during cold and flu season. Whenever you are out in public, you're in contact with millions of germs, so it's necessary to wash your hands frequently with soap. Use hot water and scrub your hands vigorously. Be sure to scrub your finger tips and not just rub your palms together. When soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

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