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Staying Well During Cold and Flu Season

Updated on November 30, 2009

It is cold and flu season now and this year we get to deal with two different strains of the flu - regular influenza and H1N1 (otherwise known as swine flu). What fun. Unfortunately, many people are not able to stay home in bed when they are sick, which means you could come into contact with them at any time. But that doesn't mean you WILL get sick. Believe it or not, there are things you can do to avoid getting sick.

There are three areas of the body where germs can enter - the eyes, nose and mouth areas. These are the areas you will need to protect the most to stay healthy. While you can pick up germs on your hands, there are many germs floating around in the air due to people coughing and sneezing. Your nose is equipped with hair, membranes and mucus - all defense mechanisms to keep you well. Your mouth has the throat area that has mucus and saliva to capture germs. Your eyes unfortunately don't have much to protect them. Be very careful not to stick your fingers in your eyes and this will help you stay healthy.

We hear it all the time, but it is true - washing your hands is the best way to avoid getting sick. When I am out running errands, I put Purell on my hands as soon as I get in the car and I wash them as soon as I get home. When I am at home, I wash my hands frequently. Washing your hands does help to keep you well.

There are some things that are typically more germ infested than other items. Shopping carts, door handles and knobs, keyboards, phones, light switches, and money all come to mind. At home I use antiseptic wipes to wipe down areas that are frequently touched, which really cuts down on the spread of illnesses. I know families where if one person gets something, within a few days everyone has it. That is not the case at my house. In fact I have had two children get H1N1 at separate times, but it has not spread to anyone else. The only reason I think this happened is because we are so good about limiting the spread of germs whenever we can.

Aside from washing your hands and keeping your hands away from your face there are other things you can do. Eat and drink things that are proven to boost your immune system. Get enough sleep so that your body can fight off germs. Instead of sniffling when you have a runny nose (that brings the germs farther into your body) blow your nose into a Kleenex to get rid of the germs. Each night gargle with either salt water or Listerine (generic is fine) to kill any germs that might be hanging around in your throat. Get fresh air and sunshine whenever you can. The sun provides our body with vitamin D, which is an immune booster.

Try to avoid sick people as best you can. If someone is coughing at church, sit on the other side of the building. If the flu is running rampant at your office, see if you can work from home. Avoid crowded places where you will be in close contact to other people.

This is going to be a tough winter for many parts of the world. You can't depend on a flu vaccine to stay healthy; there are plenty of other illnesses out there that could bring you down. Take these precautions and help yourself stay healthy this winter.


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    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      hey Jennifer, great hub. I always get my flu shot,I have to. I'm on a good multi vitamin too really helps, haven't had a cold in a long time "knock on wood". Good info thanks K.

    • Lita C. Malicdem profile image

      Lita C. Malicdem 8 years ago from Philippines

      Your tips for cold prevention are timely, yes. And the H1N1 reminders, in case we forget, the scare is still there. Health is wealth. Thanks for sharing.

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 8 years ago from Guwahati, India

      A good hub is timely written for the protection from H1N1.Thanks for sharing.

    • triplet profile image

      triplet 8 years ago

      Good habits, Good habits helps people to stay healthy.

    • Healthyminds profile image

      Healthyminds 8 years ago

      good info

      thnaks for sharing

    • jerrydel44 profile image

      jerrydel44 8 years ago

      Great advice. Thanks

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 8 years ago from US

      I keep hand sanitizer at home, in my car and my purse and also throat spray to kill germs in my mouth in case I do realize I may have gotten germs near my mouth, also I drink green tea daily, with a shot of OJ. My husband has had flu twice since summer and I have not caught it yet,in fact it has been many years but he has always called me Howard Hughes and that's fine by me, as long as I stay well. Thx for reminding us.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a very informative hub.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 8 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Very well researched hub..great info, thanks!