Keep Your Family Flu-Free This Season

December may have passed, but the time of giving is far from over. Why is that? Well, it’s because it’s (drumroll, please!) flu season! And, as always, people are unknowingly sharing this wonderful virus left and right. They’re coughing on their hands and opening doors, sneezing on tables at restaurants, blowing their nose next to your children in school…

With the sniffles, sneezes and coughs we encounter every day, avoiding the flu virus chalks up to an active effort on your end (mixed with a little luck and a healthy immune system). Luckily, it’s as easy as being proactive.

Here are some simple and panic-free ways you can fight against catching the flu virus this season!

  • Get Vaccinated The single best way to avoid getting the flu is to get the vaccine as soon as it is available in your area. The vaccine contains a nearly dead version of what experts believe the flu will be this season. Your body fights off the weak virus and produces the antibodies necessary to fight off the real deal when you encounter it–and, come on, how cool is that?
  • Good Hygiene is Your Best Friend Wash your hands with soap and warm water often, especially after touching surfaces that are out in the public (handrails, doorknobs, etc.). Keep your hands off your face! The easiest way for germs to get inside your body is through your mouth, nose and eyes. And although sharing is caring, during flu season you certainly want to avoid sharing water bottles, utensils and other things that have been used by other people.
  • Eat Healthy Foods & Get Plenty of Exercise While this should be how we live our lives every day, it is especially important during this time of year. Pile on the nutrients and vitamins by eating a well-balanced diet, and keep your body in tip-top shape by exercising at least four times a week.
  • Stay Stress-Free When you are stressed, your body responds in a way that’s similar to when it’s in a state of depression. Your hormones get out of whack, and your body ends up using its resources and wearing you down. Let your body concentrate on keeping itself healthy and flu-free! Meditating, practicing yoga, or simply taking some time to yourself every day can significantly help if you are feeling stressed, and can help avoid getting sick as easily.

If you do get sick, be considerate and stay home until you’re feeling better. The best way to make sure you’re not spreading the flu is to see your doctor as soon as you feel symptoms, get plenty of rest at home and, if you do have to leave the house, try not to spread your germs to others. Sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hand, throw out your dirty tissues and avoid contact with others.

Talk to your children about staying healthy and germ free this season. Being in school, they are at the greatest risk of coming in contact with germs. Remember: the best way for them to learn is by example! Show them how to thoroughly wash their hands and how to eat healthy and exercise.

Here’s to a healthy flu season for us all!

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