Avoiding the cold and flu is not easy and not always possible but there are 10 simple things we can do to protect ourselves.

There’s a nasty cold/flu going around right now, be on guard. Here are some ways we can protect ourselves.

  1. The 3 most important rules in sanitizing and protecting ourselves from germs: 1.Wash your Hands 2.Wash your Hands 3.Wash your Hands : ) Washing our hands is the best way to protect ourselves and our families. Wash them as much as possible, says Mark Mengel, MD. Running lots of water over your hands will dilute any germs and send them down the drain.
  2. Hand sanitizing gel or alcohol-based hand wipes help but read the label before you buy; some wipes are not alcohol-based and won’t be as effective. Keep it handy and sanitize every time you shake someone’s hand, open a door, turn on lights, touch the grocery cart, get back in your car. Sanitize your purse handle, door knobs, light switches, steering wheel.
  3. Don’t touch your nose and your eyes and keep your fingers out of your mouth, Mengel says. Those are the most common places for germs to enter the body.
  4. Get lots of sleep. We need more sleep to recover when we are feeling under the weather. Mengel suggests getting 8 to 10 hours a night to prevent illness or to recover from it.
  5. Invest in healthy food, eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables supports your immune system. That’s a lot easier than fighting off the flu and another great reason to “Eat Clean”.
  6. Working out regularly enhances the immune system function.
  7. Keep your distance from people displaying symptoms like sneezing and coughing. Stay away from sick friends and family when possible. I once heard that the spray from a cough/sneeze can travel 15 feet : /
  8. Beware of the dip.  It may be harbouring more than savoury salsa. Double-dippers may be passing germs to those who eat after them, Mengel says.
  9. Cough into your arm. Stop coughing/ sneezing into your hands. It may sound strange, but when you have to cough and sneeze, do so into the crook of your elbow, not into your hands. Our hands are a common source of germs and transfer to everything we touch.
  10. Drink lemon, ginger and honey tea to boost your immune system before and after you get sick. Drink lots of it. Ginger also helps to reduce nausea and honey helps to suppress your cough.